BRUSSELS Alphabet unit Google (GOOGL.O) has been given about three more weeks to counter EU antitrust charges that it unfairly demotes rival shopping services in internet search results, a move which could further delay regulators' decision on the six-year-old case.
The U.S. technology giant was due to respond to the accusations on Thursday but requested more time to prepare its defense. The company now has until Nov. 7, a European Commission spokesman 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," he said.
Google has an Oct. 26 deadline to reply to another charge of blocking competitors in online search advertising and Oct. 31 to a third charge that it uses its dominant Android operating system for smartphones to squeeze out rivals.
The EU antitrust enforcer intends to impose deterrent fines in the Android and shopping cases, according to charge sheets seen by Reuters.
Google faces fines up to $7.4 billion, or 10 percent of its global turnover, for each case if found guilty of breaching EU rules.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)