Getty said that it would file a formal complaint in Brussels on Wednesday, arguing that Google was trying to freeride on the business of photojournalism without generating the content itself.
More specifically, Getty accused Google Images of harvesting its photographs in a way that siphoned traffic away from Getty's paid-for website.
Margrethe Vestager, EU competition commissioner, has already issued two sets of charges against Google — accusing it of abusing its dominance of web search to promote its own shopping services, and of abusing dominance of its Android operating system to lock customers into using Google apps.
The Getty complaint broaches a third area of concern known as "scraping" — where Google is accused of using content generated by rivals to promote its own services. Some of Google's most vocal critics are travel websites, which have accused the group of culling hotel and restaurant reviews and using them to bolster the quality of Google's own travel services.