European Commission's verdict is out, $5 billion fine for Google

European Commission's verdict is out, $5 billion fine for Google
As we reported earlier this week, the European Commission released its decision on the case investigating Google for illegally limiting phone manufacturers' use of third party software on Android devices.

The Commission proved once again that it's not playing around when it comes to fines and ordered Google to pay a record high $5.04 billion for its unfair practices.

If Google doesn't make changes satisfying the regulator within 90 days, it can impose further fines that can reach 5% of Alphabet's (Google's parent company) daily turnover.

For the people left wondering how come Apple is allowed to highly restrict what is on their devices, the Commission explains that Apple doesn't license its software to other manufacturers. The conditions Google puts as part of the Android license agreement with phone makers is what the regulator considers illegal. More specifically:

  • Requiring manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and Chrome apps 
  • Paying manufacturers to only have Google Search pre-installed 
  • Not allowing manufacturers to sell phones with unapproved Android versions 

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. The press release gives as an example Amazon's "Fire OS" that manufacturers wanted to use, but decided not to, because they will lose access to Google's Play Store. This didn't allow European consumers to benefit from the competition between developers and denied them access to "further innovation".

Google issued a statement that it will be appeal the ruling, but it is unlikely that will lead to a change in decision. Instead, executives at the company should come up with a way to comply with the ruling while mitigating any potential damages to their ecosystem and profits.

source: European Commission via Reuters

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61 Comments

1. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

It's almost too bad that Google isn't a private company with an executive willing to push back on this theft. If it were, I would love to see them issue a statement urging reversal within 30 days or having all products within the EU deactivated from their services. I can only image the backlash at these morons running the EU. There is a reason Brexit happened, learn from your past idiotic mistakes.

8. Cat97

Posts: 1677; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

By threatening that Google could withdraw its services from the EU, you just acknowledged its monopoly and proved the EU's point. What I can say as an EU citizen until now is that many if not all of the EU rulings benefited its citizens a lot. By the way, Google can always do whatever its board votes to. Withdrawing its services from the EU would immediately spur competition (Tizen waits just around the corner to be more widely adopted), which is what the EU actually wants. But I'm not sure you are aware of the fact that EU's GDP is equal to the US GDP so that's why Google will never be as foolish as you are :)

17. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Do you understand what a monopoly is? Clearly you don't based on this comment. Also, yes, unlike you, I do actually keep up with economic news, and I explicitly stated that this would never happen, but geniuses like you who need the government to hold their hand while they take a crap are the problem. The backlash if they pulled out would be against the crony EU, not google. Google doesn't get paid for android, so please, dear god, tell me why they should be forced to give up any form recoupment on that service? But hey, enjoy being a mouth breathing EU "citizen".

27. chromoid

Posts: 36; Member since: Oct 03, 2013

You obviously know nothing. And your comment is just ignorant like you

29. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Yeah, ok. Please, tell me then, what is a monopoly? Please, tell me, how issuing "fines" to private enterprise, facilitates "innovation". It should be easy...... Since I'm just "ignorant" and all. I know there are so many degreed engineers that are "ignorant", after all.

37. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5473; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

You don't need to be an absolute monopoly to fall under special anti-competitive rules. Microsoft didn't have 100% of the PC market when they got sued. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Competition_law#Dominance_and_monopoly

20. MartyK

Posts: 1043; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

Tizen waits just around the corner to be more widely adopted.. So are you saying you just brought a Tizen phone, tablet lately? You use Tizen maps and mail services?

49. Cat97

Posts: 1677; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

I probably would if Android would not be available in my area.

52. MartyK

Posts: 1043; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

So you admit, you have choice, and like most of the world we choose Android OS phone. Apple and Tizan are available for those who refuse to agree with Google bundle. However, you want Google who brought this company, put money into to make it a competitive OS during the time when you have MS, WebOs, blackberry and Apple. The consumers had a opportunity at that time say no to Google and it's agreements, but we didn't. Now you want to complaint about it? Go with Apple, it's a great OS.

10. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5473; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

So tell me the reason Brexit happened, because UK made a big mistake exiting and it's influencing their economy negatively. And Google would be an idiot to let a big market like EU slide over this fine.

18. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Ah yes, the "Brexit is evil" crowd.... Super huge mistake, uh huh.....

28. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5473; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

And yet there is no answer from you, just hot air

35. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

I would love to know how the UK's economy is being "negatively influenced"? Heck, even the Pound is trading up the past year and a half. Sure, there was the initial selloff, but it has trended straight up since then. Not to mention, it's been in a downtrend from 1.70 for over 5 years. But yeah, it's the "Brexit" that did that..... Sure.... http://www.businessinsider.com/capital-economics-brexit-wouldnt-be-as-big-of-a-deal-as-everyone-thinks-eu-referendum-2016-6 Not to mention, they still have to trade with Europe just as before.... That part isn't going to change. But yeah, I'm the one with "hot air".

38. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5473; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

Sure they have to trade but under different rules. And many companies that have their EU HQ in England, have to move. https://bohatala.com/positive-and-negative-impacts-of-brexit/

44. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Yes, and when companies leave, others likely come in to fill the void. Also, *potential* impacts. Nothing is certain yet....

26. ebilcake

Posts: 1189; Member since: Jul 16, 2016

The economy in the UK is doing just fine, but they haven't left yet.

31. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Ding, ding, ding.... Nobody knows how this is going to play out until it does. But Mr. "withoutacule" just puts his name to good work.....

39. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5473; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

Ahhhh another one thinking it's smart to make that reference to my nickname. Big boy, did you come up with that reference all by yourself? You can't even spell it right.

54. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Awe, one has to love when another makes a typo and they get to go all "GRAMMARRRRRRRR". Really?

56. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5473; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

Guess you didn't read the rest of the comment but that's okay

2. cmdacos

Posts: 3760; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Start charging oems for android and recoup your loss.

3. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Or that. Give them a this or that option. That should rectify this stupid BS. I'm not even a google apologist. I use android, but I was a convert from Windows Mobile originally. I'm just tire of seeing world governments using fines and taxes as their own personal piggy banks. These people should be hung and paraded around to show what happens when you act like a moron.

13. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5473; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

Yeah god forbid a government actually trying to protect other businesses and consumers. Don't forget, not only did Google tell smartphone companies to use Google search as the default search engine, they also forbid to install other search engines on those phones.

16. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Oh, just stop. Do you not understand consent? No one is forcing OEM's to use googles services. IE, Amazon. Not to mention, as their little slides show, you can easily use other services on their phones. They aren't protecting anything, they are just using google as a piggybank.

32. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5473; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

Do you not understand dominant market share and uncompetitive behaviour of a near dominant monopoly company? They are not forcing OEMs to use Android, but they are asking ridiculous demands when you do. And you fail to see why the consumer and companies are drawing the short straw in the current situation. Consent doesn't matter if the contract is against the law. Were you this anti-EU when they said Apple had to pay back 13 billion in taxes or was that justified in your eyes.

36. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Last time I checked, they don't have a monopoly. Again, the UI's of the world don't know what a monopoly is.... "a company or group having exclusive control over a commodity or service. "areas where cable companies operate as monopolies"" A) Google doesn't have exclusive control over android. They have exclusive control over the play store. B) There are forked versions of android as it is, including the "Fire OS" from amazon, that a company can use with no repercussions. C) What demands are being made on using android? There are none, it's open-source. The demands are being made over the play store content, and that's how they recoup the development costs. D) It's not against the law, and no I wasn't for Apple's excessive taxation. In fact, I believe I made comments here on my feelings. I don't believe in excessive government control and I despise income/coercion based taxation. The same as the founders of the US. I'm fine with excise taxes and duties given those *always* involve a choice to purchase or not. I believe in free-will, and I don't need the government holding my doda while I'm taking a leak.

41. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5473; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

Read the f#cking words: near dominant monopoly You don't have to have an absolute monopoly to fall under anti-competitive rules. And yes A) With all the rules in place, they almost do have exclusive control. Apart from China, an Android device without the play store is pretty useless. Especially since a lot of apps don't work without the Google Play services. B) A company all use forked editions (apart from Google) but when you probably mean a forked edition without the Google play store. And yes that is possible. but not for companies that also sell devices WITH the Playstore. Except for China brands. C) Google demands they install Google Chrome (and make it the default browser), that you install Google search and you are not allowed to install other search engines. Did you not read the article? D) Obviously considering the outcome of this ruling, it is against the law. And I don't believe in excessive government control either, but in this (and other cases) I am all for it. And I don't like income taxation either, but I do know they are needed. And all this has nothing to do with free-will. This has to do with governments protecting users from companies who don't give a damn anything other than money (and I don't mean just Google, I mean every single company out there) But let's stop discussing this, it's a waste of your time and my time since neither of us will convince the other

46. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

A) That's the developers of the apps fault, not google's. No part of this involves google. Also, they aren't a monopoly, you should learn to read, as I stated before. Woulda/shoulda/Coulda for near. Near isn't a monopoly. In this case you are trying to state A*A=A^4, and that's not how it works. B) Here is where your argument goes completely off the rails. If OEM's in china can sell it, then so can ones in the EU. There is no requirement to use the Playstore or Chrome for android. So that's the key here. C) Yes I read it, and it's irrelevant. You can still install, from the play store anything you want. D) They didn't do anything actually "against" the law. This is a case of moving goal posts. It's hard to win in that circumstance. Also, income taxes are not needed. The US functioned fine without them for nearly 100 years, and then another 30 when they were ruled unconstitutional prior to the questionable passage of the 16th amendment. Additionally, Grand Cayman also exists with no income taxes. If people in government were remotely intelligent, which they aren't, then they would know that.

47. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5473; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

A) And you should read that I said you don't have to be a monopoly to fall under these rules and considered abusing your dominant position. And Google provided them with easy to use API's, developers use them since everybody uses Playstore installed phones. But somehow this isn't Google fault? B) Nope, they made an exception for Chinese brands, since the Play store isn't allowed there. That is why OnePlus has Hydrogen for Chinese markets and Oxygen for International markets. But you are not allowed to ship Android without GAPPS internationally. C) But that's the whole point, people don't install other stuff because it's already on there. Which means competition has no chance whatsoever. D) Yeah because life today is so much the same as back then. No cars, no roads needed, hospitals weren't really needed, you just die young and of anything. Also, GC has most of its income from indirect taxation. And only the most wealthy live there, so there is no need for any social security or shared health insurances. This wouldn't work in a country with a diversity of incomes.

53. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Last time I checked, amazon ships fireOS, or whatever they call it, internationally. C) not googles fault that people don't seek out alternatives. They were just smart enough to capitalize on it. D) I stated GC gets their income from indirect taxes. They don't, and haven't needed direct taxation to provide any of the items you claim we need and wouldn't have without income taxes. Also, income taxes are only about half the federal "income" (and I use that term very loosely) I'm fine with tolls, gas taxes, excise taxes, etc. I'm not ok with property (continuing taxes) and income taxes. They are a direct violation of the intent of the constitution, and the 16th amendment should have never passed. Although that a discussion for another time.

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