The European Commission (EC) set up a panel to give a second opinion and if it reaches the same conclusion, a decision against Google could come by the end of the year.
News of the move comes shortly after the EC fined Google €2.4 billion after ruling the internet giant “abused its market dominance as a search engine” by illegally promoting its own shopping comparison service.
The move by the EU could pose a big risk for the search giant because of Android’s huge growth potential, Reuters said, with the fine expected to exceed the previous €2.4 billion fee.
In April 2016 Google was accused of “stifling competition and innovation” by EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, because the search giant used Android to impose unfair restrictions on device manufacturers and operators.
Google was said to abuse its dominance by requiring handset vendors to pre-install Google search and Chrome, and set Google as the default search engine on their devices, as a condition for licensing certain Google apps.
In November, a lawyer for Google said the case risks sending an “unintended signal” that it favours closed over open platforms.
The long-running case began after complaints from lobby group FairSearch, privacy company Disconnect, Portuguese apps store Aptoide and Russia’s Yandex.
According to FairSearch lawyer Thomas Vinje: “A decision would come none too soon. Google is hurting Android users, including by surreptitiously commandeering ever-increasing amounts of personal data.”