Google co-founder Eric Schmidt
Google co-founder Eric SchmidtReuters

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt is meeting the European Union's antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager next week in connection with the antitrust complaints against the company in the region.

Reuters, citing sources with knowledge of the matter, reported that Vestager and Schmidt will meet in Brussels early next week.

Vestager has already met executives at more than a dozen Google complainants, such as Microsoft and German publisher Axel Springer, to get feedback and her meeting with Schmidt would help Europe decide the next step in the four-year-old investigation.

A number of firms, including online travel sites Expedia and TripAdvisor, publishers in Germany and Spain as well as price comparison sites in Poland and Britain, accused Google of abusing its dominance in Europe.

The company could be penalised up to 10% of its global revenues, if found guilty of breaching EU rules.

Vestager's predecessor, Joaquin Almunia, earlier tried to settle the case with Google, but he backed out from the attempt due to stiff opposition within the European Commission.

Earlier, the EU Parliament proposed a split up of Google's search engine operations in Europe from the rest of its business in order to curb the monopoly of the internet giant in the area.

In addition to the antitrust issue, the company faces complaints over people's privacy. Earlier, Europe's top court ruled that internet companies can be made to remove irrelevant or excessive personal information from search engine results.

As per the order, the company has to remove web links considered offensive by users and handling users' personal information.