On Wednesday, July 18th 2018, the European Union Commission imposed a fine of $5 billion on Google over antitrust of Android’s dominance in smartphone market. It’s being said that Google has pushed the users to its search engine with the motive of enfeebling its competitor search providers and app developers. Even last year, Google was slapped by EU regulators for market abuse and now it has happened again and this time it’s the tight one.
The EU commissioner for the competition Margrethe Vestage said,” Google has controlled Android to dominate its search engine and weaken its rivals from having the chance to innovate and compete as per the merits.” She added that Google offers services which we all like, but they can’t misuse their powers and favor their services over the competitors.
Basic reason behind EC imposing fine of Google are the agreements of Google with the Android smartphone developer organizations. European Commission has alleged Google of having their control over Android and forcing manufactures to install Google Search application and Chrome browsers in all Android devices for a Play store license. Although Android is an Open Source mobile software, which is available for free, yet they prevented manufacturers from pre-installing its apps if the Android version wasn’t pre-approved by the company which violates the competition rules.
In the Smartphone market, Android has 80% shares among mobile operating systems and Google’s search share in the EU market is over 90% in most countries. The EC also stated that Google’s investment in Android is because of the reason that it’s users’ shifted from the desktop to mobile devices. So, they planned it all along to dominate Android for the sake of boosting their search engine’s popularity.
Google has denied all these allegations and said that they would appeal the commission’s decision of anti-competitive behavior. Google spokesman Al Verney said, “Android has always provided more choice for everyone, not less“. Google CEO Sundar Pichai argued that Android has expanded the choice for the users. The Android has enabled many app developers, including European ones, to make a living through the platform.
Android antitrust abuse is about restricting competition from other search services to gain huge market share on Android. The EC has given Google, a duration of 90 days to end all the ongoing illegal practices. If this is not done, they will face more penalty payments of up to 5% of the daily worldwide business of Google’s parent company Alphabet. EU’s fine of $5 B on Google is more about preventing them from rolling its services to Android, than forcing the company to change Android significantly.