Google faces multi-billion fine from European Union in Android antitrust case

Google faces multi-billion fine from EU in Android antitrust case

Google faces fines for hindering competition with its Android mobile phone system as European Union antitrust watchdogs get ready to add to last year's record 2.4 billion-euro ($2.8 billion) penalty against the US tech giant, according to people familiar with the case. Just last summer they hit Google with a $2.8 billion United States dollars fine for what it called engaging in anti-competitive practices related to its online shopping service.

The EU competition enforcer will also tell Google to stop its anti-competitive practices such as licensing deals which prevent smartphone makers from promoting alternatives to apps such as Google Search and Maps. These sources said the final announcement could come at any time, but the expectation is for a decision in early July 2018.

Alphabet shares are down 0.9% to $1,136.22.

Both Google and the European Commission refused to comment on this information when questioned by AFP.

The Android investigation targets Google's strategy on mobile devices that sees Google Search pre-installed or set as the default on most Android phones and tablets sold in Europe.


Twenty years ago, another powerful tech company founds itself in the crosshairs of American and British antitrust regulators: Microsoft.

In 1998, Microsoft had the most popular operating system in the world with Windows.

In April 2016, the EU Commission charged Google with abusing its position as owner of the dominant Android operating system. It was also bundling the Internet Explorer browser and its Media Player with the operating system. Ultimately, the European Union forced Microsoft to release a version of Windows without Media Player, leveling the playing field for competitors like Apple.

Now, Google and its big technology peers - Facebook, Amazon, and Apple - have never faced a greater threat of break-up.

Google was required to offer equal treatment to comparison shopping services in the product listing ads that appear on top of search results. It is still contesting last year's fine, which centres on the way it displays search results for shopping, and it is facing a third case, in which it is accused of using AdSense to block rivals in online advertising.

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