Antitrust investigations of Google's business practices in the European Union will be wrapped up in the "next few months," European Commission's top competition economist Tommaso Valletti revealed on Monday, suggesting that the EU antitrust watchdog is looking to conclude all probes into the Mountain View-based company and its alleged violations of EU's competition laws, including the case related to the firm's possible Android-related transgressions. While the latest charges against the Alphabet-owned tech giant were raised by the European Commission last year, the agency has been looking into Google's operations for years now, with some probes dating back to 2010.
The company is currently being investigated on three major fronts as it's facing scrutiny from European regulators in regards to its Search, Android, and AdSense for Search businesses. All three cases pertain to Google's possible abuse of its market power by intentionally stifling providers of competing products and services within its ecosystems in an effort to promote its own solutions. While speaking at a conference at the University of Oxford Centre for Competition Law and Policy, Valletti reiterated some of the allegations made against Google in recent years but didn't provide a more specific timeframe for when the European Commission may conclude its probes of Google's businesses.
According to previous comments made by officials from the European Union, Google may be fined with up to one-tenth of its annual revenue. For reference, Alphabet's total turnover amounted to $90 billion in 2016 and while it's unlikely that the Mountain View-based Internet giant will receive a maximum fine, its penalty may surpass a billion dollars, i.e. euros. Google previously dismissed all of the accusations made against the company and claimed that its business practices encourage competition and promote innovation by creating entirely new ecosystems and markets, though the European Commission wasn't convinced by the company's statements, as evidenced by the fact that Google unsuccessfully attempted to settle certain antitrust lawsuits on the Old Continent on several occasions. Apart from the Alphabet-owned firm, European regulators are currently also investigating Amazon and a number of other U.S. tech giants over possible violations of competition laws. An update on the situation is expected to follow this summer.