Google says Android provides choice, plans to appeal European Union antitrust fine

by Ben Pena July 19, 2018, 0:42
Google says Android provides choice, plans to appeal European Union antitrust fine

Google has been fined an unprecedented 4.3 billion euros ($5 billion/£3.8 billion) by the European Union's competition watchdog over three stated breaches.

The new $5 billion fine would undoubtedly force Google to revamp its strategy of delivering personalized search results since the whole paradigm is based on Google search and its entire app ecosystem.

She further went on to state how these restrictions have denied consumers the opportunity to benefit from a healthy competition between the tech giant and its rival, deeming any such practices illegal.

The Commission focused on three specific Google trade practices, which it found to be illegal. Many Android smartphone makers already offer their own web browsers as the default browser, but they also include Google's Chrome as an option, often hidden within a smartphone's app library. "We will appeal the commission's decision".

European Union competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager has previously fined Google €2.4bn in a separate investigation into the firm's shopping comparison service, when the bloc ordered Google to stop abusing its search engine to favour its own product-advertising service other others.

"Android has created more choice for everyone, not less", Google spokesman Al Verney said in an emailed statement.

Google pays "certain large manufacturers and mobile network operators" to exclusively pre-install the Google Search app on their devices.

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Denmark's Vestager ordered Google to "put an effective end to this conduct within 90 days or face penalty payments" of up to five percent of its average daily turnover. The press release gives as an example Amazon's "Fire OS" that manufacturers wanted to use, but decided not to, because they will lose access to Google's Play Store.

Business review site Yelp has complained about Google's anti-competitive business models, and its polic head, Luther Lowe, described Ms Vestager's decision as an "important step in restoring competition, innovation and consumer welfare in the digital economy".

The fine accounts for around 40% of Google's 2017 net profit of $12.62 billion.

Google must now rectify its issues by stopping those practices.

He also points out that manufactures don't have to agree to pre-install Google's apps.

Regulators rejected arguments that Apple Inc. competes with Android, saying Apple's phone software can't be licensed by handset makers and that Apple phones are often priced outside many Android users' purchasing power.

Pichai intends to appeal the fines. Users who find these apps on their phones are likely to stick with them and "do not download competing apps in numbers that can offset the significant commercial advantage derived on pre-installation". Regulators have also alleged that Google sought to prevent manufacturers from using alternatives to its Android operating system. However, that's should not necessarily be up to Google, and even so, the main issue is that Google also requires OEMs to install other Google apps alongside the Play Store.

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