European political matters could be preventing Google from moving into a giant new office in London, Techworld has learned.
Google was initially due to move up to 5,000 employees into a $1 billion (£650 million) UK headquarters in King’s Cross, London, in 2016 but building work on the office is yet to commence.
The Silicon Valley internet giant, which currently has two UK offices in London and an additional one in Dublin, Ireland, has previously said that the delay is a result of unsatisfactory architecture plans but a Techworld source suggests that the company is delaying the move due to uncertainties in European politics.
Google is fighting a number of battles in Europe that could have a major impact on its business across the continent.
A Google spokeswoman said the claims are "ridiculous".
Last month EU officials filed antitrust charges against Google where they formally accused the company of using its search dominance to bias results in a way that hurt competitors and consumers.
The EU also said it was opening a second, related investigation into possible antitrust violations regarding Google’s Android mobile operating system.
Google has denied the allegations in a blog post called “The Search for Harm”.
If Google were to lose these cases then there would be serious ramifications for its business, possibly eliminating the need for such a large team in London and the new UK headquarters.
Further, Google's position in Europe could be about to drastically change if the European Commissions' plans for a single digital market come to fruition. The details of this plan are due to be published on Wednesday.
A leaked report revealed that Europe would crack down on the practice of "unjustified" geo-blocking online consumers. Geo-blocking is the denial of access to websites of retailers based in other member states or re-routing customers to a local website with different price structures, meaning that customers pay more or less, depending on where they live.
A ban on geo-blocking would have a huge affect on Google, which personalises search results based on users.
Google reportedly spent $3.4 million to $3.9 million lobbying European officials in 2014.
Additional reporting from Margi Murphy.
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