Google challenges European Commission's 5-bln-USD antitrust fine

21 July, 2018, 20:39 | Author: Rodolfo Hawkins
  • Google slapped with huge fine for illegal business tricks

Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager previously fined Google 2.4bn euros ($2.8 billion) over a separate probe into its shopping comparison service - a ruling Google is in the process of appealing against.

Google has given a riposte by way of a blog by its CEO Sundar Pichai that attempts to show that Google's offer of Android for free to phone makers in competition with Apple's iOS has created a more, rather than less competitive market.

The Commission could have fined Google as much as 10% of the annual global sales of Alphabet, its parent company, which topped $110 billion in 2017.

The fine has been issued because of dominance over Google search and apps on Android devices.

According to the EU, Google's illegal behavior dates back to 2011 and includes forcing manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and its Chrome browser together with its Google Play app store on their Android devices, paying them to pre-install only Google Search and blocking them from using rival Android systems. It also accuses the company of preventing third parties using its Adsense product from displaying search advertisements from Google's competitors - a third case against the company.

Vestager is expected to announce that Google abused its dominant position in the market by making tie-ups with phone makers like South Korea's Samsung and China's Huawei.

They have denied European consumers the benefits of effective competition in the important mobile sphere.

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The Commission says it is the "special responsibility" of bigger companies like Google to ensure other smaller players are able to compete fairly "on merit".

Google has 90 days to either halt such anti-competitive practices with smartphone makers and telecoms providers or seek a delay of the order while it appeals. "A vibrant ecosystem, rapid innovation and lower prices are classic hallmarks of robust competition", it said.

Google said that it would appeal the decision.

- What does the decision mean for Android?

Europe has hit Google with a record $5 billion fine.

Google was fined a record-breaking 2.7 billion dollars by the European Union last year for alleged manipulating search results, a case also being appealed by the U.S. Internet giant that is expected to last for years.

- Is this the first time Google has been fined by the European Commission?

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