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Exclusive: EU considers record fine as panel checks Google Android case - sources Featured

EU antitrust regulators are weighing another record fine against Google over its Android mobile operating system and have set up a panel of experts to give a second opinion on the case, two people familiar with the matter said.

Assuming the panel agrees with the initial case team's conclusions, it could pave the way for the European Commission to issue a decision against Alphabet's (GOOGL.O) Google by the end of the year.

The Commission in April last year charged Google with using its dominant Android mobile operating system to shut out rivals following a complaint by lobby group FairSearch, U.S.-based ad-blocking and privacy firm Disconnect Inc, Portuguese apps store Aptoide and Russia's Yandex (YNDX.O).

The move by the EU competition authority, which hit the company with a 2.4 billion euro ($2.7 billion) penalty for unfairly favoring its shopping service last month, could pose a bigger risk for the world's most popular internet search engine because of Android's huge growth potential.

The potential fine is expected to top that 2.4 billion euro penalty. The EU's charge sheet issued to Google in April last year said the anti-competitive practices started from January 2011 and the Commission is likely to tell the company to stop them. They are still ongoing, telecoms industry sources said.

Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso and Google both declined to comment.

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