European Union Fines Google Rs 35,000 Crore Over Android
The European Union on Wednesday imposed a fine of $5 billion on US tech giant, Google over illegal behaviour for securing the dominance of its search engine on Android mobile phones.
This ruling came after the European Commission found out that Google forced the smartphone manufacturers using its Android operating system, to pre-install Google’s search and browser apps on its devices. If the manufacturers refused to do so, they were not allowed to use its online store- Google Play and streaming service.
According to the Guardian, European Union’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager said that Google has used its mobile phone operating system, ‘Android’ “to cement its dominance as a search engine”, preventing rivals from innovating and competing “and this is illegal under EU antitrust rules”.
Fine of €4,34 bn to @Google for 3 types of illegal restrictions on the use of Android. In this way it has cemented the dominance of its search engine. Denying rivals a chance to innovate and compete on the merits. It’s illegal under EU antitrust rules. @Google now has to stop it
— Margrethe Vestager (@vestager) July 18, 2018
“The vast majority of users simply take what comes with their device and don’t download competing apps,” added Vestager.
She also pointed out that the apps were not free as consumers “pay with their data” in order to use them.
Soon after the European regulators handed down their verdict, Google responded with a tweet which said, “Android has created more choice for everyone, not less.” and they also said they will appeal against this decision.
— Google Europe (@googleeurope) July 18, 2018
Rapid innovation, wide choice, and falling prices are classic hallmarks of robust competition. Android has enabled this and created more choice for everyone, not less. This is why we intend to appeal today's Android decision https://t.co/TnpMZlDV8j
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) July 18, 2018
Google has a 90-day deadline to rectify the problem or its parent company ‘Alphabet’ could be hit with further fines amounting to 5% of its daily turnover for each day it fails to comply.
Wednesday’s verdict, which ends a 39-month investigation by the European commission’s competition authorities into Google’s Android operating system, imposed the biggest ever fine on a company for anticompetitive behaviour. Google and EU have had a tumultuous relationship in the past as well.
This antitrust judgement comes at a time when the trans-Atlantic relations are already so sensitive, with President Donald Trump criticizing the EU as a “foe” only last week. Earlier this year, the U.S. imposed duties on EU steel and aluminium, and the EU responded with imposing tariffs on American goods.