Google has been fined with a whooping €4.3 billion ($5 billion) by EU regulators for breaching EU antitrust rules. The European Commission says that Google has abused its Android market dominance in three key areas and that the tech giant has to stop ‘illegally tying’ Chrome and Search apps to Android.
The European Commission press release reads, “Since 2011, Google has imposed illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators to cement its dominant position in general internet search.”
Further, commission’s press release clearly mentions three key areas which they consider as breaching EU antitrust rules –
“In particular, Google:
- has required manufacturers to pre-install the Google Search app and browser app (Chrome), as a condition for licensing Google’s app store (the Play Store);
- made payments to certain large manufacturers and mobile network operators on condition that they exclusively pre-installed the Google Search app on their devices; and
- has prevented manufacturers wishing to pre-install Google apps from selling even a single smart mobile device running on alternative versions of Android that were not approved by Google (so-called “Android forks”).”
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google responded to EU’s decision and said, “Android has created more choice, not less”. Google defended the EU’s decision and said that Android is one of the world’s two most popular mobile platforms and not only that it has also expanded the choice of phones available across the globe.
Sundar Pichai gave clarification about asking the manufacturers to pre-install the Google Search and Chrome app by saying that a typical Android phone comes with almost 40 apps from multiple developers and not just the company you bought the device from. Not only this, he did mention the download stats of other popular browser apps. As per blog, UC browser have been downloaded more than 500 million times and more than 100 million times Firefox and Opera Mini.
Also, Google CEO showed through a GIF image that how easy it is to uninstall and install an app on Android. The GIF specifically shows the uninstalling of Chrome app.
As per Google, there are around 1.6 million Europeans who are working as app developers and over a million Android app available in the Google Play store that the users can easily install and uninstall, describing that Android has created more choices globally.
As per commission’s press release, “Google must now bring the conduct effectively to an end within 90 days or face penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.”
However, Google says that it intend to appeal the commission’s decision.
Commission seems to be only wanting Google to stop forcing the manufacturers to bundle its services to Android and to rethink about and its business model rather than forcing the tech giant to modify Android significantly.
The manufacturers however can still freely bundle Google services to Android but they won’t be forced to do so.
Must read – Emporio Armani Connected smartwatches.
It will be interesting to see the progress on this case and you are advised to keep visiting ReportingAll.com for more updates on this topic. #AndroidWorks.