Industry, experts divided over European Union fine on Google

Industry, experts divided over European Union fine on Google

The -4.34 billion ($5 billion) penalty announced Wednesday by the European Commission is the latest salvo in an extended battle between Google and regulators in Brussels, who have subjected the tech company to three antitrust investigations.

Alphabet, which is scheduled to report financial results on Monday, said it would set aside money to pay the fine which would cut its second-quarter profit by about US$5 billion.

The Commission decision concludes that Google is dominant in the markets for general internet search services, licensable smart mobile operating systems and app stores for the Android mobile operating system.

"I told you so!" '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.

The fine has been calculated according to the value of Google's revenue from search advertising services on Android devices in the European Economic Area (EEA). She said that European Union antitrust laws put a "special responsibility" on dominant businesses, meaning they can not deny other companies the chance "to compete with them on merit".

The report also asserts that members of the team say that Fuchsia could someday power all of Google's devices, including Pixel smartphones and Google Home speakers, as well as third-party devices that now rely on Android and or Chrome OS.

The European Commission had the power to fine Google up to 10% of its annual revenue.

Windsor said that because many of Google's contracts with smartphone makers are global, the ruling could force it to change its strategy elsewhere including Africa.

The new penalty imposed on Google is nearly double the amount that the firm had been charged a year ago because of topping its shopping searches on search pages. Trying to regulate giants such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Intel, which have all received antitrust fines from the European Union in the last 10 years, requires a lot of resources. The openly accessible Android source code covers basic features of a smart mobile operating system but not Google's proprietary Android apps and services. It also wants cellphone makers to be able to more easily use altered versions of Android, like Amazon's Fire OS.

Polar Capital fund manager Ben Rogoff said: "The reality is that as long as they're delivering great utility to their consumers, consumers will still use those platforms", he said.

"We have to protect consumers and competition to make sure consumers get the best of fair competition", Vestager said.

Still, some US politicians welcomed the fine.

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