The European Union accused Google on Wednesday of using its Internet monopoly to favor its own online shopping services and financially harm competitors, Reuters reports.

 

This comes after a five-year investigation of the American company by Europe’s past commissioner that could change online business rules, according to Reuters.'

 

Europe’s current commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, said if the charges are proven, Google could face fines, according to the New York Times. These are the first antitrust charges brought against the company, the Times reported.

 

The case could cause tensions between Europe and the United States, the New York Times reported, as Obama discouraged Europe in February from making accusations that could punish companies like Google.

 

Google contends that its actions in the case have been fair. The company has been given ten weeks to respond to the search complaint, according to Reuters.