Following on from the European Commission fining Google a record-breaking €2.42 billion over its Shopping search engine last year, the tech giant found itself under investigation for antitrust allegations against Android. The decision of the case is expected to be revealed next month, however Google could be breaking records once again with a fine up to $11 billion.
Google is under fire due to its practices with its Android operating system, with accusations thrown at the company for maliciously limiting smartphone manufacturers use of the Google Play Store if they refused to bundle Google search and Chrome apps by default. This breaches anti-competitive rules put in place across the EU.
The European Commission could fine anything up to $11 billion, which is ten percent of earnings from Google’s parent company, Alphabet. It’s unlikely that it will be fined the full amount, and although the Commission has declined to comment on the matter, it is likely to set a precedent to other companies by topping its previous record of €2.42 billion ($2.7bn) still belonging to Google.
Initially, Google had requested for a closed-door hearing in order to present its argument to senior members of the Commission, according to Reuter’s insider sources. This was in order to tackle “new details and evidence which the regulator plans to use against the company,” however the request was denied.
Unlike 2017’s Shopping search fine, Google might not be able to rely on its almighty market power, instead having to change practices up. The extent to which the company will be held responsible will be revealed in the week starting July 9th, while another case pertaining to Google’s blocking of rivals in its online AdSense search advertising is expected to run until the end of the year.
KitGuru Says: Given Google’s sheer size in the market, it’s unsurprising that it would become careless with some of its practices. It’s good that the EU is trying to nip this in the bud now before things get too out of hand for third-party manufacturers, and therefore customers.