The EU Anti-Trust Commission has alleged the technology giant has breached competition rules by preventing consumers from “having as wide a choice as possible”.
In a statement of objections, the commission said Google was making manufacturers pre-install Google Search and the Chrome browser.
It said the tech firm also made manufacturers set Google Search as a default service on their devices to gain access to certain Google-owned apps.
It added that Google was giving financial incentives to manufacturers and mobile network operators if they exclusively pre-installed Google Search on their devices, while blocking some manufacturers from selling smartphones which ran on “competing operating systems based on the Android open source code”. READ MORE: Warning issued over strain of ‘super-gonorrhoea’
The commission said it was concerned that these moves could stop other mobile browsers from being able to compete with Google Chrome in the rapidly growing smartphone market.
Margarethe Vestager, commissioner in charge of competition policy, said a “competitive mobile internet sector” was becoming more important for consumers and businesses in Europe.
She added: “Based on our investigation thus far, we believe that Google’s behaviour denies consumers a wider choice of mobile apps and services and stands in the way of innovation by other players, in breach of EU anti-trust rules.