Europe slams Google with a record $7.4 billion antitrust fine

19 July, 2018, 00:38 | Author: Elaine Woods
  • The European Union has hit Google with a record $6.8b fine

After all, Google past year made $5 billion every 16 days so it can do it again.

Google's contracts also prevented handset makers selling phones using other versions of Android, the European Union said.

"Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine", said Margrethe Vestager, the competition commissioner.

The crux of the issue is the monopoly Google has garnered within the Android app marketplace and the advertising advantage this provides the company.

Google says Android, which is free for manufacturers to use, has increased competition among smartphone makers, lowering the prices for consumers.

Danish former minister Vestager, who has targeted a string of U.S. tech titans, spoke by telephone with Google chief Sundar Pichai on Tuesday night to tell him about the decision in advance.

European Union competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager has previously fined Google €2.4bn in a separate investigation into the firm's shopping comparison service, when the bloc ordered Google to stop abusing its search engine to favour its own product-advertising service other others. (Google has appealed the amount of that fine.) The much higher figure reflects the fact that search has a much bigger impact than shopping on Google's bottom line.

According to the EC, those measures prevent other companies from having a fair chance to compete with Google's search engine and prevented other variations of the Android operating system to compete.

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"Today, mobile internet makes up more than half of global internet traffic". If it does not, it will be fined up to 5 percent of its parent company Alphabet's daily revenues per day. You can see the full response by clicking the link below this story.

Google has reportedly been given 90 days to amend its carrier and OEM contracts to comply with the EU's rules, which could mean smartphone makers that use the Google Play Store no longer need to include Google products (like Chrome) by default on their handsets. "This harmed competition by significantly reducing their incentives to pre-install competing search apps".

Google is now appealing against that decision.

"The complaint dragged on for five years because Google used every trick in its book to delay action", said Thomas Vinje, counsel to FairSearch.

The company also limited the ability of manufacturers to sell phones running alternative versions of Android. The Google decision comes just one week before European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker is due to travel to the United States for crucial talks with Trump on the tariffs dispute and other issues.

Google illegally paid manufacturers to preinstall its Search app exclusively, protecting its search business from competition.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will travel to the U.S. to meet Donald Trump to discuss a number of issues, including the economy, counterterrorism, foreign policy and security.

Its Play Store accounts for more than 90% of apps downloaded on Android devices in Europe.


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