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November 17, 2016updated 18 Nov 2016 8:57am

Google chief to meet EU antitrust chief this week

It had rejected several charges made by EU over its practices.

By CBR Staff Writer

Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai will meet the European Union’s antitrust chief in Brussels on Friday, as the company is slapped with several charges over its search practices in the region.

Spokespeople for Google and the EU confirmed to Reuters that the search engine giant’s chief will meet EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager and Guenther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society.

Shortly after becoming the CEO of Google, Pichai last met with Vestager and Oettinger in February.

Earlier this month, Google rejected the European Commission (EC) claims that the Android operating system is anti-competitive.

sundar-pichai

Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

In a blog post, Kent Walker, Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Google, said that Android had stimulated innovation in the smartphone market and that Android “carefully balances the interests of users, developers, hardware makers, and mobile network operators.”

The EC is probing Google over whether it offered incentives to manufacturers to pre-install Google apps and services on their devices and bundled Google software with other products.

It is also claimed that the company prevented manufacturers from gaining access to Google services if modified Android code.

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In November, Google also submitted its response to the EC’s anti-trust investigation into its online shopping practices.

In July, the Commission claimed that Google abused its dominant position by systematically favouring its comparison shopping service in its search result pages.

It said the company artificially blocked the possibility of third party websites to display search advertisements from its rivals.

A ruling by the EU regulators over the charges is expected to happen next year. It could order to Google to change its business practices and impose hefty penalties.

In January, an Oracle Corp lawyer told a US court that the Android case presents a significant risk to the technology major Google as the operating system has earned about $22bn in profit for the company since its release in 2008.

During his visit to London this week, Pichai confirmed Google’s plan to build a new headquarters in the UK.

The new facility is expected to create 3,000 new jobs in the country, BBC reported.

Also on CBR: Is Google crashing the Microsoft open source party?

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