The European Commission Fines Massive $5 Billion To Google For Breaking Antitrust Rules
Tech giant Google somehow always manages to be on news topics whether it is good news or bad. Google has been trying to avoid the bad incident from the beginning. But this time, there is a big problem for a tech company which is trying to ease user experience for their mobile operating system Android.
If you buy a new Android device, you may notice that there are some preinstalled apps available to make your mobile experience better. Most of the Android devices come with some Google apps. Large mobile manufacturers like Samsung, Motorola, and many other companies give Google Apps preinstalled on their mobile devices.
You may notice that some basic apps like Chrome browser, Google search, Google’s voice assistant, Play store and many apps developed by Google are preinstalled on your phone. For most of us, these apps come handy for our day-to-day tasks. But recently, there has been a big issue for Google regarding these apps.
"The European commission regulator agency has declared a massive €4.3 billion ($5 billion) fine to the tech giant Google. The European Commission has been keeping a close eye on activities of Google for past couple of years"
This is the most significant amount of fine for a tech company in the history of the European Commission. Google is not alone in the list of companies fined by The European Commission. The European Commission also fined Microsft, Intel, and Facebook.
What’s This Fine About?
The European commission noticed that Google was breaking their antitrust policies regarding the Android operating system. The European Commission reported that Google has been trying to force Smartphone manufacturers to install some Google apps preinstalled on their devices.
Here are the leading factors considered by The European Commission that helped to gain Google market dominance:
- Google forced smartphone manufacturers to pre-install Google Search app and the Google Chrome browser. This was a condition given by Google to smartphone manufacturers to give license the Google play store in their devices.
- According to The European Commission, Google paid to some large mobile manufacturers and mobile operators to pre-install Google Search app in their devices.
- Google restricted smartphone manufacturers wishing to provide pre-installed Google Apps from selling devices that run on other versions of the Android operating system that were not approved by Google.
- Google forced smartphone makers to not to use forked versions of the Android operating system.
The European Commission has given 90 days of time to shut down all those activities mentioned above otherwise Google’s parent company Alphabet has to face up to 5% of penalty payment fine of the average turnover of each day from all businesses across worldwide.
However, The European Commission is not forcing Google to change their software technology or to include other search engines or alternative browsers. They are just forcing Google to stop its activities for gaining market dominance.
What is Google’s Response?
Google has confirmed that they are going to file an appeal against this decision. This appeal is expected to last years. Google says that this decision of The European Commission will affect the free and open source business model of Android in near future.
Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai said that this decision of the European Commission rejects the fundamental business model on which Android is made. He also said that they intended to appeal.
History of This Case
An organization named FairSearch filed a complaint against Google in the year 2013. This organization was created by tech companies such as Oracle, Nokia, and Microsoft. FairSearch accused Google of its operations regarding the Android operating system.
After this incident, The European Commission started an investigation of Google’s operations regarding Android OS. The European Commission came up with a conclusion that Google was trying to become dominant in the search engine market by restricting websites to display search advertisements from the competitor companies.
This is not a first time Google has been facing fine. The European Commission fined Google for €2.42 billion (£2.2 billion) in June last year. Google had been accused of tweaking search results in favor of its sponsored ads.
This decision will make a massive example for tech companies. Let us see if Google changes its policies or not. Although it is clear that there is no near end to this debate. If Google does the work to make things right, it will make a huge difference in the user experience of Android Devices. Until then, let's see what happens.