THE STORIES BEHIND THE HEADLINES

Abu Dhabi

London

New York

Fri, 06 Dec 2019 12:43 GMT

EU Fines Google for Abusing Market Dominance

Business

7Dnews London

Wed, 18 Jul 2018 15:23 GMT

The EU commission slapped Google with a new record $5 billion fine for abusing their market dominance. The ruling stated the company showed anticompetitive behaviour when using the dominance of their Android mobile phone operating system to force mobile phone producers to pre-install the Google Search and browser apps as a condition for licensing Google's app store.

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said on July 18th that Google also paid big producers to exclusively pre-install the Google Search app. Vestager led the investigation over the last three years and commented, "companies must compete on their merits," playing by antitrust rules that favour consumers and open markets, and not restrict competition.

The fine is the highest ever imposed on a company and is even higher than the previous record from June 2017, also against Google, when regulators imposed a fine of 2.42 billion euros ($2.8 billion) on the company for favouring their own shopping listings in search results. 

According to regulators, Android now exceeds 90% in most European countries in the realm of licensable mobile operating systems, which has allowed Google to abuse that share by forcing manufacturers to take its apps and preventing them from selling altered versions of Android, which is technically open-source software.

Google spokesman Al Verney commented in a reply that their system did exactly the opposite to what it was accused of. Instead of restricting competition, Android "had created more choice for everyone, not less", he said. He also announced that Google will appeal the Commission's decision.


Europe