Google gets more time to counter EU antitrust charge on Android

September 20, 2016 10:37 AM EDT

A woman hovers a mouse over the Google and European Union logos in this April 15, 2015 photo illustration. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Alphabet's Google has been given an extra three weeks to respond to EU antitrust charges that it abused its dominant Android mobile operating system to squeeze out rivals, the European Commission said on Tuesday.

The U.S. tech giant had been due to file a response by Tuesday but said it needed more time and will now reply by Oct. 7, a Commission spokesman said, the third extension of the deadline.

The Commission in April accused Google of harming consumers because it required mobile phone makers to pre-install Google Search and the Google Chrome browser on their smartphones to access other Google apps.

"We confirm that the new deadline set by the Commission is Oct. 7," a Commission spokesman said. "Google asked for additional time to review the documents in the case file."

The world's most popular Internet search engine has also asked and been granted an extension to Oct. 13 to reply to a separate charge of favoring its shopping service over rival services in Internet search results.

It has until Oct. 5 to respond to a third accusation of blocking competitors in online search advertising.

Google, which could be fined up to $7.4 billion or 10 percent of its global turnover for each charge and forced to change its business practices if found guilty of breaching EU rules, has previously deny any wrongdoing.

(Story refiles to fix typo in paragraph 5 to "shopping" instead of "shipping".)

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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