E.U. Fines Google Whooping $5.1 Billion in Android Antitrust Case

Google has been fined with a landmark €4.34bn (£3.8bn) fine by the European Union over “antitrust case” to secure the dominance of its search engine on mobile phones. So, you were thinking why E.U. Fines Google?

The European Commission fined the whooping penalty after finding that the US tech firm required smartphone manufacturers to pre-install Google’s search and browser apps on devices using its Android operating system, which is used on 80% of all phones. Manufacturers that refused Google would not be allowed to use its Google Play online store and streaming service. And you cannot uninstall all that applications.

The European Commission said the firm had used the mobile operating system to illegally “cement its dominant position” in a search.

The firm’s parent Alphabet has been given 90 days to change its business practices or face further penalties of up to 5% of its average global daily turnover.

It has said it plans to appeal.

At a press conference in Brussels, Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said consumers needed an option.

And she suggested the ruling could lead manufacturers to sell smart devices using different versions of the Android operating system to Google’s, such as Amazon’s Fire OS, which she said they had been prevented from doing.

Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai has blogged in response.

“Rapid innovation, wide choice, and falling prices are classic hallmarks of robust competition and Android has enabled all of them,” he wrote.

“Today’s decision rejects the business model that supports Android, which has created more choice for everyone, not less.”

What is the case against Google?

  • it required Android handset and tablet manufacturers to pre-install the Google Search app and its own web browser Chrome as a condition for allowing them to offer access to its Play app store
  • it made payments to large manufacturers and mobile network operators that agreed to exclusively pre-install the Google Search app on their devices
  • it prevented manufacturers from selling any smart devices powered by alternative “forked” versions of Android by threatening to refuse them permission to pre-install its apps

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