European Union antitrust regulators fine Google record US$5 billion

The EU has fined Google a record €4.3bn over Android antitrust

Google CEO Sundar Pichai and founding member of the Android team, Hiroshi Lockheimer, have been reluctant to commit to future plans for Fuchsia, according to the report, given that a re-vamp of the most popular operating system in the world could have massive ramifications for Google's core business as an advertising platform and its hardware partners. "This is illegal under European Union antitrust rules".

More significant than a blockbuster fine could be an accompanying order freeing up phone manufacturers to choose non-Google apps to install on Android phones.

A Google spokesperson told Digital Trends that what's resulted has been "a vibrant ecosystem, rapid innovation, and lower prices" that don't add up to an antitrust scenario - rather, they're "classic hallmarks of robust competition".

On concerns that Google may subsequently decide to charge for using Android, Ms. Vestager said her ruling was not related to the way the company operates.


European Union regulators announced on Wednesday it was hitting Google with a $5 billion fine for violating antitrust laws by bundling its apps, like Chrome and Google Play, with its Android operating system. Phone makers don't have to include our services; and they're also free to pre-install competing apps alongside ours.

It nearly doubles the €2.42b - about United States dollars $2.8b - that the European Union levied against the company previous year over promoting its own shopping comparison service at the top of its search results. In the post, Google took a firm stand for itself and said that Android has helped 1,300 different smartphone manufacturers to develop Android-based mobiles.

Brussels has repeatedly targeted Google over the past decade amid concerns about the Silicon Valley giant's dominance of internet search across Europe, where it commands about 90 percent of the market. Blumenthal previously called on regulators to investigate how Google tracks users of Android phones.

European Union officials have been investigating Google contracts that require manufacturers of Android phones to take Google's search and browser apps and other Google services when they want to license the Play app store.

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