Google fined Sh500bn for breach of European Union antitrust rules

A 3D printed Android mascot Bugdroid is seen in front of a Google logo in this illustration July 2018. /REUTERS

A 3D printed Android mascot Bugdroid is seen in front of a Google logo in this illustration July 2018. /REUTERS

As we reported yesterday, the European Commission has fined Google €4.34 billion for now following EU antitrust rules.

Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission's competition chief, said that Google's arrangements with phone manufacturers suppressed competition. More significantly, the European Union has also ordered Google to allow phone manufacturers and telecom operators to allow non-Google apps on Android devices.

"They have denied European consumers the benefits of effective competition in the important mobile sphere", she added.

The EC isn't done examining Google's business practices, saying that it "continues to investigate restrictions that Google has placed on the ability of certain third-party websites to display search advertisements from Google's competitors". If Google doesn't, it could pay an additional fine. It can no longer engage in the three violating activities.

During the investigation, device manufacturers told the commission that Google Play was a "must-have" app, which consumers expect to have preinstalled, especially since they can not lawfully install it themselves. It also prevented manufacturers from selling devices running on alternative versions of its Android operating system. The decision ignores the fact that Android phones compete with iOS phones, something that 89 percent of respondents to the Commission's own market survey confirmed.

Today, about 80% of smart mobile devices in Europe, and worldwide, run on Android. Other examples include Microsoft, which was fined multiple times in the mid 2000s for abusing its Windows-monopoly.

Lawmakers will need to ensure users can download from competing app stores and that smartphone makers are free to choose pre-installed apps.

More news: National Hot Dog Day 2018 deals and freebies
More news: Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump share awkward handshake at Helsinki summit
More news: Planemakers plot course through trade, Brexit worries to air show deals

There is little doubt that Google has a monopoly in the market of Smartphone operating systems, as Android was pre-installed on 86 % of all Smartphones sold world-wide according to the market-research company Gartner. And while being dominant alone isn't illegal, abusing that power is.

Unsurprisingly, Google has disputed its punishment, claiming it to be "unjustified". Google issued a statement that it will be appeal the ruling, but it is unlikely that will lead to a change in decision. Google's licensing conditions make it impossible for manufacturers to pre-install some apps but not others. The EU didn't believe that argument held water.

Most of all, the European Union is anxious that this harms you, the consumer, by restricting your choice and preventing innovation that could lead to better alternative mobile experiences for you in the future.

The Commission's decision was delayed by a week by US President Donald Trump's visit to a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels last week.

Google will have 90 days change its illegal practices, but it seems unlikely that the tech giant will comply so soon, so don't hold your breath. Worse yet, that 5 percent is on all the revenue of Google's parent Alphabet and not just the revenue it generates on Android.

The Commission focused on three specific Google trade practices, which it found to be illegal.

Recommended News

  • 'Not too late to save Brexit': ex-foreign secretary Johnson

    'Not too late to save Brexit': ex-foreign secretary Johnson

    Conservative infighting must end and a consensus found on a sensible, practical Brexit. She said that she and other senior Tory lawmakers favor a new vote.
    Trump said that he expected from the meeting with Putin

    Trump said that he expected from the meeting with Putin

    Trump is under pressure from Democrats and some Republicans, including Arizona Sen. "This was during the Obama administration". Trump and Putin will meet on Monday in Helsinki for their first stand-alone meeting since Trump took office in January 2017.
    How Long Is Amazon Prime Day?

    How Long Is Amazon Prime Day?

    Amazon was back up and running as usual Tuesday morning on the second day of the company's Prime Day (and a half) sales event. A spokeswoman for the Seattle-based giant said it was committed to providing workers with "positive working conditions".
  • Liverpool make £62m bid to sign Roma goalkeeper Alisson

    Liverpool make £62m bid to sign Roma goalkeeper Alisson

    That bid was rejected by the Serie A side, who had been asking for € 75m (£66m), a fee which Liverpool have now agreed to pay. Liverpool and AS Roma have reached agreement on the transfer of 25 year old Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker .
    When Mohanlal Watched The FIFA World Cup 2018 Finals!

    When Mohanlal Watched The FIFA World Cup 2018 Finals!

    The final match between France and Croatia was the most tweeted , followed by a 6 July match between Brazil and Belgium. More than 3.5 million fans attended the tournament when it was held in the United States. "The World Cup, it's a lot".
    Tear gas and water cannon fired at Iraqi protesters in Basra

    Tear gas and water cannon fired at Iraqi protesters in Basra

    Abadi promised investment worth $3bn for the province, as well as pledging additional spending on housing, schools and services. He said a total of 28 members of the security forces were wounded in clashes with demonstrators.
  • Rebels forward Mafi charged with assault for allegedly attacking teammate

    Rebels forward Mafi charged with assault for allegedly attacking teammate

    The case will come before the courts again on August 3, although Mafi was excused from having to appear personally on that date. New Zealand police have charged Mafi with injuring with intent to injure following the alleged assault in South Dunedin.
    First look at Olivia Colman as the Queen in The Crown

    First look at Olivia Colman as the Queen in The Crown

    While it has yet to be confirmed, fans could be stuck waiting for The Crown season three until 2019. The Queen needs to age: I don't think we can hang around while Claire Foy gets 20 years older. 2.
    Meghan Markle's Dad Tells Contentious Family to 'Shut Up'

    Meghan Markle's Dad Tells Contentious Family to 'Shut Up'

    Thomas told United Kingdom tabloid The Sun he thinks his daughter is " terrified " with her new royal duties. He admits that maybe she's " just having a couple of bad days".
  • Trump contradicts own remarks on alleged Russian meddling

    Trump contradicts own remarks on alleged Russian meddling

    As he has done before, Trump attacked the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian election interference. Trump admitted: 'I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place'.
    Amanda Seyfried's husband was not happy with Mamma Mia 2

    Amanda Seyfried's husband was not happy with Mamma Mia 2

    She said it's "sweet" that her husband, with whom she shares a daughter born the month they married, was concerned. Cue flashbacks to the young Donna ( Lily James ) embarking on her lusty Mediterranean odyssey via Paris.
    Phillies will still attempt to deal for a shortstop

    Phillies will still attempt to deal for a shortstop

    But while they have the third-lowest OPS in the NL at shortstop (.634), the biggest available infield bats are third basemen. But trading Machado may be their best chance to rebuild their franchise and a trade should happen sooner than later.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.