Google hit with record-breaking $5-billion European Union fine

Google hit with record-breaking $5-billion European Union fine

Google hit with record-breaking $5-billion European Union fine

This was a foreseeable fine, as Microsoft, too, had been penalized by the European Union for bundling Internet Explorer with Windows, not once, but twice -in 2008 (€899 million / $1.04 billion) and 2013 (€561 million / $651 million). The company has been given 90 days to end this practice or face more fines.

"Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine", Vestager said in a statement.

Regulators say Google has tilted the field in its favour by forcing smartphone makers to pre-install Google Search together with its Play Store and Chrome browser, sign agreements not to sell devices on rival Android systems and also pay smartphone makers to only pre-install Google Search on devices.

Google's practices have denied rival search engines the possibility to compete on the merits. The company said it would appeal the commission's decision.

Google has been under investigation of the European Commission (EC) regarding breach of European Union (EU) antitrust rules for several years now.

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The EU penalty was expected to exceed the 2017 fine because of the broader scope of the Android case, sources has said. The ecosystem carries all the properties needed for a fair competition - "rapid innovation and lower prices".

"For example, the Commission has found evidence that Google's conduct prevented a number of large manufacturers from developing and selling devices based on Amazon's Android fork called "Fire OS", it said.

Google has been issued with a record fine of more than four billion euro by the European Commission competition authorities for abusing its market position through the Android mobile operating system.

'They have denied European consumers the benefits of effective competition in the important mobile sphere'. The EU said Google stopped doing this in 2014.

Google forced phone makers to preinstall its Chrome browser and its Search app as a condition for accessing the Play app store. But the fine itself might not be Google's biggest concern. "In competitive mobile markets, consumers should be able to make a meaningful choice between search engines and browsers and which apps they can download on their phones and tablets". Currently, an OEM that wants to partner with Google and sell certified devices with Google services can not also go out and sell devices with incompatible Android forks - something built from open source without support for standard Android software and features. "We have felt its effects first hand for many years and has led directly to us having less market share on Android vs iOS and in general mobile vs desktop". But Google's strategy for its comparison shopping service wasn't just about attracting customers by making its product better than those of its rivals'. "The Commission would have to determine such non-compliance in a separate decision, with any payment backdated to when the non-compliance started", it said.

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