Google facing major antitrust fine over Android

11 Jul 2018

Google is reportedly facing a multi-billion-dollar fine from the European Commission for allegedly abusing its dominant position in the Android ecosystem.

European regulators plan to fine Google for forcing Android smartphone makers to pre-install its search and web browsing tools and use them by default unless they want to lose access to the Play Store, the Washington Postreported, citing unnamed sources.

The report states that EU commissioner for competition Margrethe Vestager may also issue a ruling prohibiting Google from making such demands on smartphone makers.

While it is unclear how enforceable such a ruling would be for a company based out of the US, such an order could have wide-ranging consequences for the Android ecosystem.

Because Google as the default search engine is part of the company's revenue generating model for Android, eliminating the ability to ensure this could force Google to rethink the entire business model, and potentially make major changes to the platform itself.

Other reports suggest that the EC has delayed formally issuing the fine due to US president Donald Trump's current visit to the EU.

The fine would follow the major $2.7 billion fine slapped on Google by the EC for allegedly unfairly ranking its own comparison-shopping service higher in search results than those offered by competitors.

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