Google fined $7 billion for forcing software on phone makers

19 July, 2018, 10:23 | Author: Natasha Holloway
  • Google fined a record $5B for breaking EU antitrust laws

The head of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which has investigated Alphabet's Google in the past for abuse of web dominance, said on Wednesday he would take a close look at Europe's recent decision to fine the company 4.34 billion euros ($5 billion).

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the American Internet behemoth illegally used Android's near-monopoly to increase usage of its own search engine and browser.

The case is the most important out of a trio of antitrust cases against Google because of Android's enormous growth potential.

This could result in, for example, Microsoft paying to have its Bing search bar installed as the default on certain phones.

It says that Google made it mandatory for OEMs to install Google Search and Chrome on their devices as a part of its Google Play licensing agreement.

"Separating Google Play from the rest of Google's services would have very little impact as users would simply download and install them from the store".

While app designers have welcomed this decision as it opens the door for a level playing field for them against the Google, activists and industry experts aren't that optimistic about the ruling being followed verbatim by the company.

Putin ‘PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE’ for election meddling says Trump in latest clarification
Melania, who is from Slovenia, and Putin both hail from eastern Europe. "It's 24 hours too late and in the wrong place", he said. Mr Pompeo is to publicly testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on July 25.

The commission explained that Google breached European Union antitrust rules by illegally tying its search and browser apps - namely, Google Search and Google Chrome browser - which are pre-installed on all Android devices sold in the EU.

"Android has created more choice for everyone, not less", Google spokesman Al Verney said in a statement.

Vestager said the size of the fine is reasonable if the company's income is considered. Alphabet had income of about $31 billion dollars in the first three months of the year.

Although Google's appeal is likely to begin a game of table tennis between itself and the European Commission that will last years, this concludes the lengthy investigation into the Android operating system. The EU has answered by placing import taxes on American goods. Additionally, the latter paid a huge sum of money to OEMs and network operators to ensure they installed Google Search as the exclusive search app on their devices. Finally, Google has prevented manufacturers wishing to pre-install Google apps from selling "even a single smart mobile device" running on alternative, non-Google-approved versions of Android, the regulators have found.

Google has warned that it could start charging handset makers for using its Android software, potentially driving up the price consumers pay for smartphones and tablets.

"We believe that Google's behaviour denies consumers a wider choice of mobile apps and services, and stands in the way of innovation by other players", Vestager explains.

Mario Ritter adapted this Associated Press story for VOA Learning English. It says if its business is limited too much, it will no longer be able to provide Android to mobile phone makers for free. Hai Do was the editor.

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