Google received the bad news many of us saw coming from thousands of miles away. The search giant has been charged by the European Union Commission once again, but for a record high $5 billion fine.
Google doesn’t get finned all that often, but when the company does, it’s usually for a lot and typically to the EU Commission. That is the case here once again as Google’s apps and services continue to expand putting them in danger of antitrust type of fines. Google is clearly unhappy about it, as $5 billion is a lot less money than the company had the day before. Google can’t do much about the fine, other than try to appeal it. All we can hope for is that the company can somehow come to better terms next year with rules set by the EU Commission.
As expected, the EU Commission suspected Google of a monopoly in a lawsuit which closed this week. The EU blames Google for installing apps and its search engine on Android devices, which make up almost the whole European Union market. In doing so, Google has forced out a lot of competitors. Even Android phones made by other companies such as Samsung and Huawei must have Google’s suite of software apps installed on them to pass for sale. This has caused a share of problems since Android is an open source operating system. The reason Google goes by this rule is to grant OEMs access to its Play Store, one that consumers cannot easily live without.
Occasionally, Google also pays Android manufacturers to incorporate Google software into their mobile devices. Since Google owns the rights to Android, it has the ability to prevent these manufacturers selling devices with the OS if they don’t abide by rules. It makes sense that Google would want its services available on the most phones possible, but there are weaknesses to the case. More recently even, the same tactic has been used in preventing some from producing for Amazon’s TV products. Google and Amazon are very competitive, but the competition is reduced when a tactic like such is used and that’s why there’s a another fine– to force fewer restrictions and promote open competition in parts of Europe. Time will tell if any changes are made.
If Google were to stop what it’s doing with software, a window could open for others to take from their share. However, the fines could stop hitting them in the face. There are clearly things that need to be worked out, but right now Google simply wants nothing more than you using its services, which personally I have no problem with. Keep in mind that Google is an advertising company, and lifting restrictions could result in a loss in profit. We’ll keep you up to date on anything that might happen.
SOURCE [European Commission]