Google Hit by $5 Billion Fine

Google Hit by $5 Billion Fine
The European Commission believes that Google's Android practices are anti-competitive.

(CCM) — Google has been fined five billion dollars by the European Commission (EC) because of the way it offers its open source Android mobile operating system, according to a BBC report.

The EC believes that Google is being anti-competitive because it says the company:

• requires Android device manufacturers to pre-install its Chrome browser and set Google as the default search engine if they want their devices to have access to Google's Play app store

• prevents device makers from selling devices with rival operating systems based on Android

• provides financial incentives to device makers and mobile networks to make Google the sole pre-installed search option

In its defense, Google says that no manufacturer is obliged to preload any of Google's mobile apps, and says that it is because Google's search and the Play store are distributed together that it can offers its services for free. Google takes a cut of every transaction made on the Play store.

"The commission's approach... would mean less innovation, less choice, less competition, and higher prices," Google's global affairs chief said in the report.

Google has been given 90 days to change its business practices, or it risks being fined a further 5% of its daily global average turnover, but it says it will appeal the decision.

In 2017 the EC ordered Google to pay a $2.8 billion fine over its shopping comparison service, but this has gone to the appeal court and is unlikely to be resolved for years.

Image: © Google.