Google handed a record fine
Google have been slapped with a record fine of £3.84bn (just over US$5bn) from the European Union (EU) for breaking antitrust laws.
The EU has said that the laws broken are threefold and include requiring phone manufacturers to pre-install Google apps and search engine in order for users to be able to use the Google Play Store; paying manufacturers to exclusively load the Google Search app onto their products; and blocking manufacturers from being able to trade devices using “forked’ Android systems, with threats that they would cut out permission to pre-install Google apps.
European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, commented: “Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement its dominance as a search engine. These practices have denied rivals a chance to innovate and to compete on the merits.”
She added: “They have denied European consumers the benefits of effective competition in the very important mobile sphere. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules.”
And considering that Android make up the majority of the global smart phone market at 74%, the move from the EU could well see the way phones are made and sold changed forever. The fine from the commission is the largest of its kind to one company, and follows previous fines against Intel, Microsoft and Facebook.
Google has already released a statement stating that it will be challenging the fine stating that “Android has created more choice for everyone, not less. A vibrant ecosystem, rapid innovation and lower prices are classic hallmarks of robust competition. We will appeal the Commission's decision.”