Google Is Fined A Record $5 Billion In EU Antitrust Case

EU Slaps Google with Record Fine for Pushing Apps to Android Users

'I told you so!

"Today the commission has made a decision to fine Google €4.34 billion ($5 billion) for breaching European Union antitrust rules", Vestager told a press conference in Brussels.

Vestager dismissed Google's argument that it had competition from Apple, saying iPhones were not a sufficient check on Google's dominance because they cost more and require users to exert significant effort to adopt. Otherwise, the company faces additional fines of up to 5% of daily turnover in the Alphabet.

The India-born executive said the free distribution of the Android platform, and of Google's suite of applications, is "not only efficient" for phone makers and operators but is also of "huge benefit" for developers and consumers.

As a consumer, I'd like all phone makers, whether their gadgets run Android, the iOS, Samsung's Tizen, Linux or something even more exotic, to offer me a choice of apps. "This ranges from increased fragmentation and greater app inconsistency to increases in hardware cost should Google decide to change or adapt the Android business model", Geoff Blaber said.

The European Commission's decision, delayed by a week by U.S. President Donald Trump's visit to a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels last week, is expected on Wednesday.

The Commission, however, said that as Google obtains the vast majority of its revenues via its flagship product, the Google search engine, the company understood early on that the shift from desktop PCs to mobile Internet, which started in mid-2000, would be a fundamental change for Google Search. "Whether or not you like the result, this is law enforcement in Europe and we wouldn't like anyone interfering with law enforcement in the USA", said Gene Kimmelman, a Justice Department veteran now with advocacy group Public Knowledge.

The EU's penalty stood in stark contrast with the United States, where federal antitrust regulators previously investigated Google's search and advertising businesses but concluded their probe in 2013 without bringing major penalties against the tech giant.

Google licenses its Android operating system to third-party phone manufacturers. Interestingly, the commission can penalize the firm at least ten percent of the revenue it makes yearly which stood at $110 billion previous year. "They could these users to try their own services before they get completely hooked on Google".

It has said it plans to appeal.

The Google crackdown comes at a sensitive time for trans-Atlantic relations, with President Donald Trump lambasting the European Union as a "foe" only last week.

"What would serve competition is to have more players", she said.

But she said that only 1% of users downloaded a competing search app, and 10% a different browser. The U.S.is now also considering taxes on imports of European cars.

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