The European Union will accuse Google of illegally abusing its dominance of search in Europe, according to a new report.
Google will be served on Wednesday with a formal charge sheet alleging it broke antitrust regulations by siphoning traffic from its competitors to its own services, two people familiar with the case told the Financial Times.
This is the opening salvo in what could become the defining antitrust case for the Internet, the newspaper said.
Google could ultimately be forced to pay large fines or make significant changes to its business in Europe.
The EU has been investigating Google for five years. Google nearly settled the case without any charges last year but the deal fell apart over objections from ministers in France and Germany and powerful tech groups.
A decision on the charges will be taken up by the college of 28 EU commissioners on Wednesday, the Financial Times said.
A spokesman for the commission refused to comment.
Google could not be immediately reached for comment.
Technology news outlet Re/code obtained an internal memo in which Google calls the EU decision “very disappointing news.”
The memo also mentions that Google expects the E.U. Commission for Competition to open up an investigation into Android on Wednesday.
“We have a very strong case,” the memo says.
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SOURCE: USA Today America’s Markets – Jessica Guynn