European Union has formally charged Google of abusing its dominant position on the internet search market.
According to a Corliss Tech Review Group report, Google has used its gigantic power as a search engine to redirect internet users from rivals to its own services, which include YouTube and its own social network Google+.
Expedia, Microsoft, and TripAdvisor, which are Google’s competitors, declare that its way of promoting its own companies above rivals on its search engine stops them from contending on a level playing field.
Insiders claim the case could prove just as costly as the EU's decade-long battle with Microsoft, which ultimately cost the company £1.6 billion in fines.
If Google fails to rebut any formal charges imposed by Brussels, the commission could impose a huge fine which could exceed £4 billion which is about 10% of Google's most recent annual revenue.
More than twenty four European organizations have filed antitrust complaints against Google. Many are from powerful publishing groups and online firms in Germany.
They have previously requested to force Google to stop blocking competition in sections like online maps, travel and shopping services.
Moreover, lawyers from France also requested for Google to reveal its secret formula for ranking websites but Google argues such transparency would expose its business secrets to rivals and leave the search engine vulnerable to spam.
In accusing Google of anti-competitive practices against rival shopping sites, the EU competition authority said it is continuing to investigate other areas, including alleged "web scraping" to copy content off of rival travel and local business review sites, and Google's restrictive practices on advertising.
EU will be likely to probe Google’s operating mobile operating system Android.
The investigation will center on whether Google has entered into anti-competitive agreements or abused a possible dominant position in the field of operating systems, applications and services for smart mobile devices.
Google has given 10 weeks to reply and they will also get the chance to argue their case in a formal hearing. But if it finds the company in the wrong then it would face the legal consequences and must change the way it does business in Europe.
The competition commissioner also claims that Smartphones, tablets and similar devices play an increasing role in many people's daily lives, and she wants to make sure the markets in the area can flourish without anti-competitive restrictions inflicted by some company.