EU Fines Google $5.1 Billion In Antitrust Case
Today marks the second time in two years the European Union has fined Google billions
Europe has fined Google a record $5.1 billion (4.34 billion Euros) today for its practice with Android phones and is ordering the company to changes its practices in one of the most aggressive regulatory actions against one of the world’s biggest tech companies and second most valued brand.
The European Union is seeking to set a precedent with the fine and force lasting changes to the way the company puts web browsing apps onto its Android smartphones. The EU believes that because the company requires Google search and Chrome as its default services on all devices using the Google Play Store, Android is engaging in anti-competitive behavior. In short, they want Google to stop forcing Chrome and Google Search onto manufacturers.
And just to put things in perspective, the penalty the European Union has given Google is equivalent to the amount the Netherlands contributes to the EU budget every year and is far higher than any other fines served by China, the United States, or any other antitrust authority. And this is not the first time the EU has fined Google for its practices. Last year it set a record high of fining the company $2.7 billion for its unfair favoring of its own services.
While the EU has demanded Google to take action in 90 days, Google Europe Tweeted earlier today that “@Android has created more choice for everyone, not less. A vibrant ecosystem, rapid innovation and lower prices are classic hallmarks of robust competition. We will appeal the Commission’s decision.” It’s not to say that Google couldn’t pay the fine if they had to – it’s owner, Alphabet Inc. has generated about the same amount of money as the penalty nearly every two weeks in 2017 alone.
Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai has already made a statement online that the EU decision “rejects the business model that supports Android, which has created more choice for everyone, not less.” Users can easily disable or delete apps that are loaded on their phone and Google only earns revenue "if our apps are installed and if people choose to use our apps instead of the rival apps.”
While the news has not yet affected the company, with its stocks still at $1,212.98 earlier today, competitors such as Mozilla Corporation, which makes the Firefox web browser hopes that the EU fine will “help level the playing field for the mobile browser.”
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