Google could today be fined a record amount by the EU for the use of its Android mobile operating system.
It’s accused by the European Commission of using Android to unfairly strengthen its dominance of the internet search market. That entitles the regulator to fine the firm up to 10% of its annual revenue, which is around $11.1 billion (£8.5 billion).
Google could also be forced to unbundle Android from its Chrome web browser and other Google services.
The European Commission has been investigating Android since 2015, following a complaint by a group that included Microsoft, Nokia and Oracle. It accused Google of requiring Android device manufacturers to set Google as the default search engine and to pre-install the Google Chrome browser before letting them offer access to the Google Play store for app and games.
It also accused Google of preventing manufacturers from selling mobile devices powered by rival operating systems based on Android’s open source code, and of giving device manufacturers and mobile networks financial incentives to provide its own search service as the sole pre-installed option.
Google has denied obliging device makers to pre-load its apps. It argues that bundling Google Search with the Play store lets it offer its mobile services for free, and that without this offer, there would be less choice, less innovation, less competition and higher prices.