Friday, 17 August 2018

European Commission slaps Google with €4.34bn anti-competition fine

By Chris Kelly, Total Telecom
Wednesday 18 July 18

The European Commission has found that Google has breached European anti-competition legislation

The European Commission has fined global internet giant Google €4.34 billion for breaching anti-trust legislation in European markets. The Commission successfully argued that since 2011, Google had placed illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and had unfairly leveraged its size and scale to further cement its market position…

The European Commission has fined global internet giant Google €4.34 billion for breaching anti-trust legislation in European markets.

The Commission successfully argued that since 2011, Google had placed illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and had unfairly leveraged its size and scale to further cement its market position.

"Today, mobile internet makes up more than half of global internet traffic. It has changed the lives of millions of Europeans. 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. In this way, Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine. These practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on the merits. They have denied European consumers the benefits of effective competition in the important mobile sphere. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules," said EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.  

Google now has 90 days to stop using these illegal practices. Failure to do so could result in a daile fine of up to 5 per cent of the average daily turnover of Google's parent company, Alphabet.

In a statement posted online, Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai, firmly refuted the Commission's findings.

"Today, the European Commission issued a competition decision against Android, and its business model. The decision ignores the fact that Android phones compete with iOS phones, something that 89 percent of respondents to the Commission’s own market survey confirmed. It also misses just how much choice Android provides to thousands of phone makers and mobile network operators who build and sell Android devices; to millions of app developers around the world who have built their businesses with Android; and billions of consumers who can now afford and use cutting-edge Android smartphones," he said.

"The free distribution of the Android platform, and of Google’s suite of applications, is not only efficient for phone makers and operators—it’s of huge benefit for developers and consumers," he added. 

 

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Google's new subsea cable to boost Europe-US connectivity 

German watchdog ramps un rhetoric against US web giants

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