Google on Thursday formally rejected European Union antitrust charges of unfairly promoting its shopping service and blocking rivals in online search advertising, paving the way for EU regulators to rule next year on these issues and potentially impose hefty fines.
The U.S. technology giant's rebuttal in the shopping case came six years after the European Commission opened an investigation prompted by complaints from rivals such as Microsoft and a host of European and U.S. rivals.
The EU regulator followed up with an anti-competitive charge against the company in April last year and added more evidence in July this year. It also issued a separate charge sheet against its online search advertising product AdSense for Search at the same time.
Google's general counsel Kent Walker said on a blog that the accusations had no factual, legal or economic basis, and that the company's actions were driven by its users rather than any plan to squash rivals.