Every now and then, we see various companies dragging themselves to court for infringement, law violations, or form of producing their likely products without authorized permission and many more, but this Google $5billion fine by EU might decide the fate of Android OS!
EU had fined various tech companies from the past, but the Google $5billion dollar is definitely a record breaking, being the among the highest. Although EU ordered Apple to pay a total sum of $15.4 billion in taxes to the Union but Google was last fined by EU in 2009!
Why was Google fined $5B by EU?
Google was fined $5billion by European Union (EU) but that is not all, the reason for the fine is to some limit. In a blog press release post, the European Commission said, ” they have fined Google €4.34 billion for breaching EU antitrust rules. Since 2011, Google has imposed illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators to cement its dominant position in general internet search.
There are three types of illegal restrictions on Android usage, EU commented. And they includes;
– Google has been bundling its search engine and Chrome apps into the operating system.
– Google has also blocked phone makers from creating devices that run forked versions of Android, and
– Google has “made payments to certain large manufacturers and mobile network operators” to exclusively bundle the Google search app on handsets.
Recall that in 2014, there were 20% of Android phones with a forked version in the ecosystem. But literally, Google failed to act immediately, simply, any denied passageway for small and competitive company to acts freely by their own likely innovation is definitely illegal under EU antitrust rules.
What EU wants Google to do?
The restriction is real and likewise the law violations and the $5billion but European Commission wants Google to bring its “illegal conduct to an end in an effective manner within 90 days of the decision.”
If that needs to work out, then Google will have to stop forcing manufacturers to preinstall Chrome and Google search in order to offer the Google Play Store on handsets. Google will also need to stop preventing phone makers from using forked versions of Android, as the commission says Google “did not provide any credible evidence that Android forks would be affected by technical failures or fail to support apps.” Google’s illegal payments for app bundling ceased in 2014 after the EU started to look into the issue.
Moving ahead with EU law violations and illegal restrictions, Google says they will have to appeal the decision. For so many years, Android has been considered as an open-source software, but most Android device now ship with Google’s software and services bundled on them.
And that is exactly what EU is fighting for, they have officially ordered Google to quietly unbundle search and Chrome from its Android. Looking into the future, Google will soon have to stop bundling its services and apps to Android powered device.
The EU Press release reads:
Google must now bring the conduct effectively to an end within 90 days or face penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “Today, mobile internet makes up more than half of global internet traffic. It has changed the lives of millions of Europeans. Our case is about three types of restrictions that Google has imposed on Android device manufacturers and network operators to ensure that traffic on Android devices goes to the Google search engine. In this way, Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine. These practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on the merits. They have denied European consumers the benefits of effective competition in the important mobile sphere. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules.”
In particular, Google:
has required manufacturers to pre-install the Google Search app and browser app (Chrome), as a condition for licensing Google’s app store (the Play Store);
made payments to certain large manufacturers and mobile network operators on condition that they exclusively pre-installed the Google Search app on their devices; and
has prevented manufacturers wishing to pre-install Google apps from selling even a single smart mobile device running on alternative versions of Android that were not approved by Google (so-called “Android forks”).
Google has anyways responded, we soon appeal, but we are currently afraid, as this law suits might run for many years to come, and may add subscriptions to those using Android devices.