European Commission prepares to hit Google with another multi-billion fine

European Commission prepares to hit Google with another multi-billion fine
An investigation by the European Commission of Google's policy regarding Android and phone manufacturers that started in 2013 is expected to end on Wednesday with a fine of over $3 billion.

It all started after complaint was submitted by FairSearch, a lobbying group at the time representing several companies, including Oracle and Microsoft.

The issue that the Commission is looking at is that Google is forcing phone manufacturers using their Android operating system to install Google Search as a default search engine and Google Chrome as a default browser, and by doing that it is hindering competition in an unfair way.

Google responded with a blog post explaining that devices using its mobile operating system came on average with more third-party apps preinstalled than its competitors, Apple and Microsoft. iPhones, for example, come only with Apple's own apps preinstalled. According to Kent Walker, Google's senior vice president, manufacturers are not obligated to have any Google apps preinstalled and are free to have software that directly competes with Google's. This refers to alternatives to Dialer, Calendar and other core Android apps and not the dreaded bloatware that companies also like to install.

Comparing themselves to Apple didn't help Google's case since the EC isn't considering iOS a competitor to Android. Yes, we realize how ridiculous that sounds, but because of its dominance in Europe, the regulator considers Android a league of its own.

Additionally, the blog post reminds that having the core package of Google Search and Chrome is what allows the company to offer the operating system for free, instead of charging license fees to pay for the substantial development costs. This allows phone makers to sell their products at lower price, which obviously benefits consumers.

The decision of the Commision and the magnitude of the fine are unlikely to change the way Google conducts business through Android. The mobile operating system's European market share is around 74%, meaning it would probably be cheaper for them to pay fines regularly than to make changes that can hurt their revenue.

source: Reuters

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32 Comments

1. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

WTF? Android is owned by Google and I think they have the right to do that. It's open source and free. If they want to pre install another browser or search engine, they can still do that. And we as consumers, will choose what's best for us.

3. Nine1Sickness

Posts: 896; Member since: Jan 30, 2011

Yup. Google also has the rights to auction off all your data to the highest bidder as well since your data is owned by Google.

6. cmdacos

Posts: 4260; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Anonymized data but sure, whatever fuels your hate...

9. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Nope, they don't have the rights since they failed to mention those in the terms and conditions which a user agreed to upon.

43. lyndon420

Posts: 6823; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Apple will (or already does) have the rights to auction off your data as well so don't kid yourself. They're pouring a lot of money into their mapping service so it's more like Google's, and if you think it's just apple's way of saying thanks to their consumers...think again. They're also getting more into advertising, so....

4. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

"An investigation by the European Commission of Google's policy regarding Android and phone manufacturers that started in 2013 is expected to end on Wednesday with a fine of over $3 billion. " Hell yeah, go the EU! Clearly they had a just cause, or they wouldn't win the case in courts against a massive company. Take down these massive companies that couldn't care less about the rights of the consumers and their freedom of choice. This is especially true for Apple. The EU seems to be the only major body that actually seems to care about ensuring competition and avoiding monopolies, as they actually seem to have the consumers interest in mind, at least a lot more than any other organization/body in the world.

13. lyndon420

Posts: 6823; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

You're clearly in a bubble. I doubt most people who buy an Android are upset to see preloaded apps from Google on their phones. Ask an iPhone user if they are upset to see apple apps preloaded on their phone when they turn it on for the first time. There's a reason why people pick a particular device/operating system over the alternative.

15. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Because they don't know any better. I am an Android user and I would welcome less pre-loaded apps from Google. I use them anyway, but system apps most of the time use more space than user apps. Samsung users would welcome it too, no longer bloatware in the form of twice the apps for the same functionality. Just look at Internet Explorer, before Microsoft was sued, it was the major player in browsers. Now it's way behind Chrome. Because people had a choice they didn't know they had.

20. lyndon420

Posts: 6823; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

I'll give you that...I'd prefer no preloaded apps as they take up space even if you disable them. But that's just the way it is with every single phone manufacturer. But on the other side of the coin, I chose Android because of Google and the services they offer, and I'd probably just load most of them myself anyway so...

23. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

True and when you update a system app, it takes up user data, so it's twice the amount of storage used. Even when I installed a custom ROM and I choose the smallest gapps to install, I install most of the Google apps as I really use them.

35. Y.S.L..

Posts: 232; Member since: Jul 03, 2018

Should you ask the Oems to provide 6=8 gb Ram so even if it comes with bloat it still has 4gb Ram free.

29. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1327; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

The IE thing was different. It wasn't easy to just install a new browser and make it the default one PC. On Android the OS asks you if you want to make a new browser the default after you install it and click on a link.

5. Kil4thril

Posts: 80; Member since: Oct 05, 2016

Soooooo, Google is taking care of the economic problems in the EU again. Got it

10. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

What economic problems?

12. lyndon420

Posts: 6823; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

If Google pays this fine where do you think the money will end up? The phone manufacturers that the EU is 'supposedly' fighting for?!

14. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Nope, it will go into the EU 'bank account' but it has nothing to do with economic problems. Sure there are certain EU countries that have difficulties, but as a whole, the EU has a strong economy. Besides they are not fighting for just phone manufacturers, they are fighting for consumers as well. And I for one am glad they do. Companies need to be checked on unethical (and illegal) practices. Whether its Google, Microsoft, Apple or any other company. And the only thing companies understand is money. Hurt them where they feel it.

25. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

Finally someone who actually has a clue about any of this, instead of all of these nationalistic and xenophobic americans.

8. path45th

Posts: 406; Member since: Sep 11, 2016

EU is bankrupt, even a billion will help. I feel so sorry for the Europeans.

11. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

EU isn't bankrupt, what gave you this idiotic idea? And don't feel sorry, Europeans are one of the happiest people in the world. 6 out of the 10 happiest countries in the world is European.

27. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

EU is bankrupt? You must be american, because you clearly have no clue. Most of the richest countries per capita in the world reside are European countries, and most of the countries in the world with the highest standard of living are also European countries. Europe is general is doing pretty well, especially under the attempted tyranny of the US, who is trying to bully every single one of its own damn allies with blackmail (trade war and tariffs).

28. xfire99

Posts: 1206; Member since: Mar 14, 2012

I feel sorry for the Americans that have a traitor as President. Im sure you is a Trumpass follower by the nick 45.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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