Google has been granted a third extension by the European Commission to respond to its probe into the Android operating system.
A Statement of Objections filed in April set out the EC's case, accusing Google of restricting Android smartphone and tablet makers adding competing apps to the operating system, and of paying phone makers and telecoms operators to install only the firm's search app on phones.
"We believe that Google’s behaviour denies consumers a wider choice of mobile apps and services, and stands in the way of innovation by other players," EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement at the time.
Google was given until 27 July to respond. This was then extended to 7 September, then to 20 September, and now, following another request from Google, it has been pushed back again.
The EC has granted Google its wish and has given the firm its third deadline extension, this time for three weeks. Google must now respond by 7 October.
"We confirm that the new deadline set by the Commission is October 7," an EC spokesperson told Reuters. "Google asked for additional time to review the documents in the case file."
Google has yet to comment on this latest development, but has long denied any wrongdoing.
"We take these concerns seriously, but we also believe that our business model keeps manufacturers' costs low and their flexibility high, while giving consumers unprecedented control of their mobile devices," said Kent Walker, senior vice president and general counsel at Google, in April.
It's like all of Google's Christmases have come at once, as the EC has also granted the company an extension to reply to a separate charge of favouring its own shopping service over rival services in search results. It now must reply by 13 October.
The company faces a fine of up to $7.4bn (£5.6bn), or 10 per cent of global turnover, for each antitrust case.
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