Google Could Pay a Fine Amounting to €4.3 Billion for Antitrust Abuse
Google is on the blink of paying €4.3 billion in fines to the European Union following its breach of antitrust obligations with its smartphone-based operating system-Android. However, this is not the first time that Google is facing such a hefty penalty. In 2016, the EU found Google guilty of compelling the installation of Chrome by network operators in addition to other Google apps as the only search tool on almost all devices purchased in Europe.
Google boasts of a market share that exceeds eighty percent across the globe and has managed to lock out other companies from the search industry successfully. The firm has therefore built some monopoly in the industry.
According to a statement by the EU commission, the penalty amounts to €4.3 billion because of the period and intensity of the violation. The penalty has been imposed based on the EU’s rules on fines, and its calculation is based on the revenue acquired by the search giant from search services on devices with the Android Operating System.
According to the EU commission, Google is also obliged to end its illegal activities within ninety days after the commission has made the decision. The commission further describes the gravity of the antitrust breach as follows: The Company compelled phone makers to ensure the pre-installation of Google Search as well as Chrome browser on all phones operating on Android, it also accepted to remunerate the manufacturers and network operators only if they made the Google Search the exclusive search app. The search firm further barred phone makers from vending devices that featured Android systems that had not been authorized by Google.
The new penalty imposed on Google is almost double the amount that the firm had been charged last year because of topping its shopping searches on search pages. However, the search giant has requested the EU to appeal its decision. Interestingly, the commission can penalize the firm at least ten percent of the revenue it makes yearly which stood at $110 billion last year.
Apart from paying the fine, the commission has directed Google to permit phone makers and network operators to install apps from other search companies on Android devices. The installation of other apps will give room for competition from other firms and also minimize the advertising revenues gained by Google annually.
However, Google can still require the use of its apps to allow the proper running of android devices bit without limiting the manufacturers’ liberty to create devices that feature android forks.