The European Commission is laying the groundwork to file antitrust charges against Google, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
Citing unnamed sources, the report indicates that the European Commission is just weeks away from filing charges against the tech giant. From The Wall Street Journal:
The European Commission, the European Union's top antitrust authority, has been asking companies that filed complaints against Google for permission to publish some information they previously submitted confidentially, according to several people familiar with the requests. Shopping, local and travel companies are among those that have been contacted, one of those people said.
As noted in the report, the European Commission's request to publish confidential complaints from other companies could indicate that the EU is ready to move forward in an investigation that has been going on for years.
Such complaints recently came to light in a leaked FTC document from a U.S. antitrust investigation that concluded in 2012. While the FTC never filed formal charges against Google, the leaked documents showed that the commission was divided despite the conclusion that the company had taken steps to favor its own services over rivals' in search results. If the EU comes to a similar conclusion and rules against Google in its antitrust probe, the search giant could face a fine upwards of $6 billion.
In any event, we'll have much more in the way of specifics if the European Commission decides to move forward with charges in the coming weeks.
Source: The Wall Street Journal