US internet giant Google has been granted extra time to respond to EU suspicions that it hampered competition with business practices related to its Android operating system for smartphones and tablets.
The European Union's executive granted an extension until October 7 so that the company can "fully exercise its rights of defence," European Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso said Tuesday.
The commission has argued that Google blocked competitors and limited search engine and browser choices for manufacturers and consumers. It could hit Google with a fine or consider a settlement if the company offers concessions.
The commission has taken issue with the fact that manufacturers were required to pre-install Google's search engine and Chrome web browser on devices that use any other of its licensed apps, such as the popular Google Play app store.
Manufacturers wishing to install Google apps on their devices were also prevented from using competitors' modified versions of Android, while companies that offered Google Search as a mobile device's exclusive search engine were provided financial incentives, the commission said.
About 80 per cent of mobile devices in Europe use Android, notably low-price smartphones and tablets.
Google's business has been under EU scrutiny for years, after competitors complained about its supremacy in the internet search-engine market.