European regulators fine Google $5bn
July 18, 2018—Google has been fined $5 billion by the European Commission for unfair business practices, but sitting on a cash pile of just over $100 billion the American firm may not feel the pinch too much
The EC regulator said the firm had used the mobile operating system to illegally “cement its dominant position in general internet search”.
At a news conference early this afternoon, Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Google’s parent, Alphabet, has been given 90 days to change its business practices or face further penalties of up to 5% of its average daily turnover.
According to the BBC, Vestager said there are three ways that Google has acted illegally. It required Android handset and tablet manufacturers to pre-install the Google Search app and its own web browser Chrome as a condition for allowing them to offer access to its Play app store.
It also made payments to large manufacturers and mobile network operators that agreed to exclusively pre-install the Google Search app on their devices.
Google also prevented manufacturers from selling any smart devices powered by alternative “forked” versions of Android by threatening to refuse them permission to pre-install its apps.
Vestager suggested the ruling could lead manufactures to sell smart devices using different versions of the Android operating system to Google’s, such as Amazon’s Fire OS.