The European Union has accused Google of abusing its dominance by distorting search results and has also launched an antitrust probe into its Android mobile operating system.
The EU Competition Commission said the US technology company had been sent a charge sheet to which it can now respond, accusing it of amending results to favour its Google shopping service.
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement: "I am concerned that the company has given an unfair advantage to its own comparison shopping service, in breach of EU antitrust rules.
"If the investigation confirmed our concerns, Google would have to face the legal consequences and change the way it does business in Europe."
The Commission can fine firms up to a 10% of their annual sales - or a penalty of over $6 billion (£4 billion) in Google's case.
In response to the move, the company said: "While Google may be the most used search engine, people can now find and access information in numerous different ways - and allegations of harm... have proved to be wide of the mark."
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