European regulators are preparing to file formal charges against Google Inc. for violating the bloc’s antitrust laws, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing sources familiar with the matter.
The move follows a five-year investigation that has found anti-competitive behavior such as diverting online traffic away from rival companies, according to the report.
EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager made the decision Tuesday to file formal charges, and will inform her fellow EU commissioners at a meeting Wednesday, sources were quoted as saying.
The formal charges will reopen the possibility of fines for Google that could theoretically exceed US$6 billion, the report said.
The focus of the charges will be Google’s alleged abuse of its dominance in general online search to favor its own vertical search services, according to the report.
Goggle has said earlier that it didn’t violate EU antitrust standards.
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