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Reports Surface That EU Will Fine Google Big Over Android

After a European Union report gave Alphabet a “negative result” and fine of up to $11 billion for abusing its power through its Android operating system, shares of the company fell by under 1 percent as reported on Wednesday (June 6). A ruling on the matter could come from the EU’s antitrust head, Margrethe Vestager, in a matter of weeks, CNBC reported.

While the exact amount of the fine is not yet known, the commission can impose up to that $11 billion figure. Alphabet had warned its investors in 2017 about the potential for EU fines to occur in 2018.

The news comes as Vestager won’t rule out breaking up Google, saying the EU has “grave suspicions” about its dominance in internet search. Reuters, citing comments Vestager made to the U.K.’s Telegraph, reported Vestager said the ability to break up Google has to remain a real threat. The comments came as Google faced new rules from the EU on its practices with small businesses that use Google services.

Meanwhile, Reuters noted that in 2017, the antitrust head said that additional cases against the internet search giant were likely. Those comments came months after the European Commission levied Google with a record $2.97 billion fine. In June, the EC determined that Google “cooked” its search results so as to benefit its own shopping services and disadvantage the services of others. Apart from the hefty fine, the EC gave Google 90 days to “stop its illegal conduct” and offer other price comparison services the chance to compete on a balanced playing field.

The EC is in the midst of creating new regulations for eCommerce, app stores and search engines. The idea behind the new rules is to get the companies to be more transparent about how they rank and list results and why some services get delisted while others do not.

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