Google has been in legal trouble with the European Union for the majority of 2016. The tech giant is facing accusations about anti-competitive practices on three separate fronts as its advertising, Internet search, and Android business ended up being scrutinized by the European Commission. The former charge filed regarding Google Search claims that the Mountain View-based company used the dominant position of its Internet search engine on the market in order to create an uneven playing field for online shopping services. More specifically, EU officials are currently trying to prove that Google favored shopping services which are somehow affiliated with the company over their competitors. The company allegedly demoted rivals with the so-called Shopping price comparison feature of its Search service. Antitrust law is something you're bound to have problems with sooner or later when you're a tech giant with stakes in so many popular products but that isn't to say Google is content with settling. Well, not fully, at least.
Namely, the company is still weighing its options and trying to figure out its chances if it decides to go to trial. The Google Search antitrust case may cost the company up to €3 billion in fines so it's not surprising that its legal team isn't keen on rushing the decision. The again, neither is the EU but for completely different reasons. According to latest reports from Brussels, Google was given another extension to respond to the aforementioned charges over alleged anti-competitive practices related to the company's Search service. Despite the fact that the European Commission has been investigating these allegations since 2010, it has only filed official charges last year so this is just the second extension Google was given in this case. For comparison, the Android antitrust case is already on its fourth extension and counting.
According to the comments made by the EU competition commissioner Margarethe Vestager earlier this week, the Commission is willing to give Google all the time it needs because it's confident in all of the cases it officially instigated and doesn't see any way in which Google can get out of this mess without paying heavy antitrust fines. Furthermore, Vestager's team is also using this extra time to additionally prepare for the trial. The latest deadline for Google's response in the Search antitrust case is set for November 7th, though it's quite possible it won't be the last.