European Commission wants to fine Google over antitrust practices

European Commission wants to fine Google over antitrust practices

The European Commission is concluding an investigation in began in 2013 regarding Google's policy on Android and phone manufacturers. According to reports, the fine against Google could be as high as 5-billion (4.34 billion euros).

This investigation initiated with a complaint submitted by FairSearch, a lobbying group who at the time represented several companies, including Oracle and Microsoft. The complaint stated that Google was forcing phone manufacturers who used 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 to this in a blog post, explaining that its competitors Apple and Microsoft allowed fewer third-party apps to be installed on their own respective platforms. Google's senior vice president, Kent Walker, also stated that manufacturers were not obligated to have any Google apps pre-installed on their devices, and were free to use software that directly competes with Google's. These include alternate dialers, calendars and other Android apps that companies tend to include on their devices.

Google's post also points out that by bundling Chrome and Google Search with Android, they are able to offer the platform for free to device manufacturers, without charging a licensing fee, despite substantial development costs. This in turn allows manufacturers to sell their products at lower prices, which end up benefiting consumers.

Android's European market share is around 74%, which is profit Google will not want to lose. So its likely Google will want to change its business model and will likely be willing to pay the fine instead.

source - Reuters

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