Look out, Google: record fine likely coming this week for Android antitrust issues

  • At some point this week, we expect the European Commission to levy a fine against Google for Android antitrust issues.
  • The fine will be in the billions-of-euros, and likely will be one of the largest in history.
  • Google is expected to appeal, as it claims no wrongdoing in the Android antitrust case.

At the beginning of June, we learned that an ongoing Android antitrust case in Europe could result in a hefty fine for Google. The fine revolves around the Android operating system and Google’s alleged suppression of competition on the platform.

Now, according to The Telegraph, it looks likely that the fine in question could land tomorrow or Wednesday and might be one of the most substantial penalties in history. While we don’t yet know the exact number, it is assumed it will be even larger than the 2.42 billion euro (~$2.7 billion) fine levied against Google last year.

Truth be told, the European Commission has the power to fine Google up to 10 percent of Alphabet’s annual turnover, which last year broke $100 billion for the first time. According to The Telegraph, it estimates the fine could be as high as 9.5 billion euro (~$11.1 billion).

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However, it is unlikely that the EU would go that far; but it is within its power to do so.

This antitrust case revolves around three central allegations against Google and its practices when it comes to Android:

  • Google allegedly requires smartphone manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and Google’s Chrome browser, and then set both as the default.
  • Smartphone makers are allegedly discouraged from releasing devices that are based on the Android open source code but not affiliated with the Google-owned property.
  • Google also allegedly provides financial incentives to device manufacturers in exchange for them to exclusively pre-install Google Search on devices.

As a result of these allegations, the European Commission concludes that Google is monopolizing the market and violating antitrust statutes and should thus be punished with a fine.

In 2017, the EU fined Google for similar antitrust activity, this time revolving around prioritizing Google shopping tools over the competition. Google appealed, but did alter its policies to address the EU’s concerns.

It is expected that Google will appeal this week’s fine as well, as it currently claims no wrongdoing in the case.

NEXT: Competing app store files antitrust complaint against Google

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