Google faces a record EU fine
Google next week will face a record EU fine, which is due to Google’s Android smartphone system to protect its search engine monopoly behavior.
The fine is likely to be announced next Tuesday or Wednesday, and this time the penalty is expected to exceed the £2.1 billion fine that Google has paid for last year. Last year, Google was punished by the European Union for its monopoly in online shopping and the escalation of war between Silicon Valley and Brussels.
In response to complaints that Google illegally forced smartphone makers to install Google Apps, European Commission antitrust head Margrethe Vestager has been investigating Google for three years. Google provides its Android software for mobile phone manufacturers for free, but it is bundled with a “monopoly agreement.” If manufacturers use Google’s App Store, they will have to install Google’s web browser and search engine.
Google’s competitors claim that this monopoly has caused Google to account for 74% of the European smartphone market and damage other competing search engines and browsers. At the same time, Google insists that these agreements allow manufacturers to help still them compete with Apple.
The European Commission has the right to impose a fine of 10% on the annual trade of the parent company Alphabet, or a fine of 9.5 billion euros (equivalent to 8.4 billion pounds). Although the EU is not expected to impose the highest penalty, the punishment is likely to be higher than the $2.4 billion fine paid by Google last June.
In addition to fines, Google is expected to be asked to lift the agreement with handset manufacturers. This may mean that more Android phones will not install Google software, which may lead to the promotion of competitors’ search engines and web browsers, such as Microsoft’s Bing or Firefox.
It is reported that this fine decision is expected to be announced on Tuesday or Wednesday, just before the summer holiday in Brussels. The meeting of the European Commission and European competition authorities are scheduled to be held on Tuesday to finalize this decision. So far, Google and the European Commission have not commented on this.
Source: Hindustan Times