Google may have to rethink the way it's pushing mobile services as massive EU fine looms

Google may have to rethink the way it's pushing mobile services as massive EU fine looms
Google may be forced to rethink the way it's pushing its apps and services on Android phones in light of recent accusations from the European Commission. European regulators are gearing to fine Google a hefty, multi-billion dollar fine on account of the company allegedly forcing Android smartphone makers to face "anti-competitive choices."

According to a new report by The Washington Post, European Union’s chief competition regulator Margrethe Vestager is preparing to issue Google a hefty fine:

“In the E.U.’s eyes, device makers such as HTC and Samsung face an anti-competitive choice: Set Google Search as the default search service and offer Google’s Chrome browser, or lose access to Android’s popular app store. Lacking that portal, owners of Android smartphones or tablets can’t easily download games or other apps — or services from Google’s competitors — offered by third-party developers.”

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, though most penalties are usually issued in the lower end of the range. Google was last year slammed with a $2.7 billion fine over allegedly ranking its comparison-shopping service higher on Google Search, while ranking competitive services lower.

Google's reasoning behind its practices is that "Android is free and users have the choice to use other services." How the EU vs Google saga pans out, we will know later this month.

source: Washington Post via BGR

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11 Comments

1. AbhiD

Posts: 636; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

Pathetic pathetic ruling! Google is a private organisation, they can do whatever they wish to do with their Operating System and Google Services. They aren't forcing anyone to use it, companies and consumers willingly choose it. It's for Google to decide what pre conditions need to be met by companies and consumers to use their product and services. And it's not like consumers can't use other browsers either. Samsung forces their browser and dozens of unnecessary apps down the throat of users, apple is even worse with iOS, locking everything, not letting users choose default apps, yet EU is acting blind to that. It's just that Google is an easy target for them to earn some quick cash for debt ridden European Union and additional burden of refugees. EU is now infilterated with leftists. They are now illegally asking money the legal way from big corporations.

3. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Even private organisations have to abide by the law. So no, they can not do whatever they want. Especially since they have a dominant market share, then the rules to the game change. The reason the EU is blind to those (Samsung & Apple) is that they don't have a dominant market share so anti-competitive rules don't apply to them. Also, the EU debt isn't that big (a lot smaller than US debt for instance). And illegally asking money the legal way? lol that's too funny

10. dcwt2010

Posts: 71; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

I agree, Google does have dominance in overall market. But I think the numbers are warped a little though; Apple and Samsung hold the majority share in the flagship department to the extent that the other manufacturers just go into the other category in most pie charts.

8. Leo_MC

Posts: 6894; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

EU has no problem, if Google decides to be private and to close its operations on EU soil. This issue is not about the users possibility to change the browser but the OEM obligation to install Chrome and G. Search.

2. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

I don't see any issues at all with EU's stance. They're trying to avoid companies who have a monopoly on a section of a market from abusing it, as that doesn't benefit the consumer or other companies. The EU is trying to maintain competitive integrity and possibility by making the moves they are. Anyone who can't see that must be a fan of the company that is breaking these principles, because the EU definitely has a strong and valid case on their hands.

4. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Totally agree, people tend to forget they are trying to protect consumers here. And other companies as well. Also, I don't understand why people are upset, it's not like they have to pay that money. And despite being an Android user (and using most Google apps), there is an added benefit of not having all those Google apps installed on the system partition.

5. etron

Posts: 29; Member since: Sep 12, 2014

Again if they add all google services no has to use them if they don't want too so I don't see why anyone is being forced to do anything but maybe google should stop giving there os to certain companies crying like babies or charge them for it instead of giving away 4 free

6. Reybanz88

Posts: 90; Member since: Jul 28, 2016

I honestly don't understand how Google is at fault by preferring their products on their OS. It's easy as hell to switch browsers, search engine engines, sideload apps, have other app stores, different launchers, etc. It's not upto Google to advertise their competition. If the competition was that great we'd know about it and use their apps accordingly. I don't like Google Drive so I use Microsoft's One Drive on my Android phone. I don't like Android Messenger so I use Textra on my phone... Sooooooo what's the issue? Apple barely let's people use any 3rd party app as the default if at all. But on Android literally any other app can be the default of the system main apps. Even the phone app can be changed lol.

9. Leo_MC

Posts: 6894; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

You should see the history of internet browsers on Windows to understand why EU is doing what it does and why it is a good thing in the long run for the competition.

11. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

All those things you mention, its easy for you. Most users don't know how to change the default apps and even worse, they don't care. Why should I install a different browser, there is one right here on my phone. Average consumers tend to stick to the default apps, because why change if it works?

7. geordie8t1

Posts: 278; Member since: Nov 16, 2015

didnt microsoft get told off/fined for something with its web browser years ago? it was made to have to offer other options out of the box, so people could choose their own instead of simply forcing people to use its own browser? perhaps not exactly the same thing but similar? im totally fine with google, and any of its products i dont like i just dont use, there are always options? same with samsung, i dont use many of their apps, so there are alternatives, i would prefer that these bloatware apps be removed if wished by the customer, you can preload the phone with whatever as long as I the user, and owner have the choice to remove if i dont need or want them

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