The European Competition Commission has given Google another three weeks to file a response to formal charges that its Shopping price comparison service unfairly demotes rival services in search results.
The EU’s investigation of the Google Shopping service has been ongoing for some six years at this point, although the Commission only formally laid out charges in 2015. This is the second extension Google has been granted to respond to the charge.
In a statement on the extension an EU spokesperson said: “Google asked for additional time to review the documents in the case file. In line with normal practice, the commission analyzed the reasons for the request and granted an extension allowing Google to fully exercise its rights of defense.”
The latest extension, reported earlier by Reuters, gives Google a new deadline of November 7 to file its response. Although it’s entirely possible the company might request (and be granted) a further extension — not least because Google has two other EU antitrust charges on its plate.
In the two other EU antitrust cases, the company currently has until October 26 to respond to accusations it blocks competitors in online search advertising; and until October 31 to respond to a charge that it uses its dominant Android mobile OS as a trojan horse to promote its services via app pre-loads.
The EU has given Google multiple extensions to Google for filing its Android response, and one extension for responding to the AdSense charge.
According to charge sheets previously seen by Reuters, the EC intends to impose deterrent fines on Google in the Android and Shopping cases — although the Commission has not commented on reports of a fine incoming.
In Russia the company has already been fined as a result of antitrust complaints pertaining to its Android OS, losing an appeal against Russia’s antimonopoly service this summer.