Google hit with $5.1b fine in EU’s Android antitrust case

REUTERS  Dado Ruvic

Our case is about three types of restrictions that Google has imposed on Android device manufacturers and network operators to ensure that traffic on Android devices goes to the Google search engine, ' explains European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager of the Commission's findings.

President Donald Trump lashed out Thursday after Brussels hit USA tech giant Google with a record fine, and warned he would no longer allow Europe to take "advantage" of the United States.

"I told you so!"

It has not been a good day for Google after it was hit with a record-breaking fine totaling $5 billion or €4.3 billion by the European Commission in relation to Android and the way the company uses its position to bundle search and Chrome with handsets throughout the continent. "They truly have taken advantage of the USA, but not for long!" he tweeted. It it fails to overturn it, the company will have 90 days to change its practices or risk facing an even larger fine.

Google was previously penalized by the European Commission just past year, when the search giant was slapped with a $2.7 billion fine for lowering the ranking of competitor shopping comparison tools to promote its own.

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The European Commission found Google had used Android, the most popular mobile software globally, to reinforce its dominance in search.

Google also reportedly forces smartphone makers to integrate its own apps to their phones, should they wish to offer the Google Play Store on them.

Google chief Sundar Pichai immediately said the firm would appeal. This could have great implications for Google's mobile ad revenue, which constitutes more than 50 percent of the company's net digital ad revenue, according to The Verge.

The EU's penalty stood in stark contrast with the United States, where federal antitrust regulators previously investigated Google's search and advertising businesses but concluded their probe in 2013 without bringing major penalties against the tech giant.

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