Google faces multi-billion fine from EU in Android antitrust case

Google faces multi-billion fine from EU in Android antitrust case
Google could be slammed with a multi-billion fine by the European Commission as soon as next month, according to a new report by Financial Times. Should the internet search giant be found guilty of abusing its dominance in Europe through Android, it will be penalized with a hefty fine.

Margrethe Vestager, the E.U.’s antitrust chief, said that her commission is “poised to announce the negative finding within weeks.” The Commission is empowered to impose fines of up to $11bn, which amounts to 10 percent of the global turnover of Google’s parent company Alphabet, according to the FT report, though most penalties are usually issued in the lower end of the range.

The main allure of Android for manufacturers is that it is free, but the EU antitrust watchdog is looking into whether the Mountain View tech giant may have forced phone makers to favor its own services, like Chrome and Google search, as well as deterring other companies from developing competing operating systems using the open-source parts of Android.

This won't be Google's first big fine in Europe, however. Last year, the company was slammed with a record $2.7 billion fine, over the company’s price comparison service.

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19 Comments

1. LikeMyself

Posts: 631; Member since: Sep 23, 2013

This is money stealing blatantly. EU with its bunch of bankrupt members & countries are just extorting money from Google at this point.

2. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

That's a bit shortsighted. This has nothing to do with money stealing but protecting it's EU citizens against abuse of a near dominant monopoly position. Besides the EU as a whole is pretty stable (despite some members are near bankruptcy). Be glad someone is watching big companies

4. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Your name is fitting...... They don't have a monopoly. Do you even know what a monopoly is? Nevermind. I refuse to deal with people like you.

6. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Read my text: near dominant monopoly You don't have to have a 100% monopoly to be able to abuse a dominant market position. Seems you don't know how these laws work. And you just made me happy by saying you refuse to deal with people like me. Don't like explaining stuff in Neanderthal

13. sgodsell

Posts: 7383; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Google is far from dominant, especially when any OEM can pick up Android and make a forked version of Android. Plus they can even implement their own app store. Which some do. There is 2 different android app stores in the EU alone. Three if you include Russia. Amazon has had a forked version of Android with its own App store since day one. There are lots of OEMs that start out with Android but add then add so much to their version that it's basically their own. Look at OnePlus, Xiaomi, Huawei and many others. They all want to use the Android name, but want to implement their own stuff underneath the covers. How the EU is going to put a figure out how much Google is responsible for and how much they owe, is really a witch hunt now. Especially since the EU always needs money. It's also why the UK left.

15. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

OnePlus, Xiaomi, Huawei all have 2 different Android versions. One for the international market that must include Google apps. One version for the Chinese market, which doesn't include them. And this is okay by Google. But you are not allowed as an OEM to sell a phone with and without Google apps in the international market. And the ones that come with the Play store, need to have a certain amount of Google apps preinstalled. Given the fact that the Android version with Google apps account for more than 72% of the smartphone market, they are considered to have a near dominant monopoly. Enough for the EU to look at them more closely. And of course the EU needs money, that is why all the EU members pay up. Some more than others. But you get things in return as well. And is totally not the sole reason the UK left. Besides, UK is already feeling sorry for leaving, it will leave their economy for worse.

19. Gapps_r_Bloatware2

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 10, 2018

Clearly you have no idea what you are talking about. Try doing some research on restrictions and conditions that google places on OEMs and also read this part again: "tech giant may have forced phone makers to favor its own services, like Chrome and Google search, as well as deterring other companies from developing competing operating systems using the open-source parts of Android." And again: "as well as deterring other companies from developing competing operating systems using the open-source parts of Android" Google forced Acer to abandon Yun OS because they don't want Ali Baba competing with it. Microsoft was forced to actually prompt users to install competitions browsers. For some reason, Google is held to different standards. And UI skins don't count. Google should be fined all their profits unless they allow OEMS to: -use their own apps, including market places and browsers, set them as default and place anywhere they like -use any other OS or fork they like, including Yun OS. -give users option to uninstall google unwanted bloatware, such as Play books, drive, duo etc

18. path45th

Posts: 405; Member since: Sep 11, 2016

The EU has also monopoly in power. See what happens when a country votes the "wrong" way... EU's democratic principles crash as Android on a cheap smartphone.

8. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

Are you actually retarded? I don't know why I'm asking, because you clearly are. You're probably just a typical US nationalist. I want to be you haven't even looked into this while case at all. However, because the EU is the opposite of corrupt, unlike the US, you can actually read the investigation that the EU commission has done, as the EU, unlike the US, release everything to the public, so that you can read the evidence yourself.

3. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

"tech giant may have forced phone makers to favor its own services, like Chrome and Google search" Actually phone makers could erase the whole google ecosystem from android and Google still cool with that.. China did that for years.. Will they sue Apple for pre-installing safari and other stuffs in iOS?

5. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Don't try to bring rational arguments to government thieves. They will do anything they can to rape, pillage and murder.

7. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

And who would buy a phone in Western countries without the Google ecosystem? Not only won't you have access to the play store, a lot of popular apps use the Google play services so they won't work either. And Google isn't cool with a company that sells phones with and without the Play services, this isn't allowed. Except for Chinese market, because Google is not allowed there. And they will sue Apple when Apple has a near dominant market position. Until then they can do pretty much what they want.

11. sgodsell

Posts: 7383; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

What about Amazon and their own version of a play store. Plus there are others as well. In the EU alone I know of two completing Android app stores, and 3 if you include Russia. China has their own as well. Google is far from dominance. Especially when others can take Android and make a forked version of Android, like OnePlus and lots of others are doing the same thing.

14. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Amazon doesn't sell devices with the Google Play store, only their own Kindle. Which doesn't support a lot of apps and hasn't been sold that much. And I didn't say there aren't any Playstore alternatives, but they are limited when used without Google Play services. Also, OnePlus makes 2 versions of their phones, one with Oxygen for the international market with the Google Play services. And one with Hydrogen, without GPS for the Chinese market. As I described in my previous comment. But Google's version of Android accounts for over 72% of the European smartphone market. Enough to be considered to have a dominant market share. Having said all this, do I agree with everything the EU is suing Google for? No, not at all. But it has nothing to do with being greedy and I am happy they are looking at bad behaviour of big companies and making them accountable for it.

12. cmdacos

Posts: 4219; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Android without play services certainly is allowed outside of China, it's just not in the oems best interest.

16. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Not if you are an OEM that also sells phones with the Google Play store/services installed. You can't have it both ways.

9. lyndon420

Posts: 6793; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

So...Google gets punished for producing something that most of the globe uses and enjoys using?

10. rouyal

Posts: 1583; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

All that mass immigration in the EU isn’t going to pay for itself.

17. Subie

Posts: 2367; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

With free and big money on the line, my bet will be a guilty verdict.

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