Google has been fined a whopping record $5 billion in fines over apps for Android devices. The news was reported on Bloomberg yesterday. This is the first time a corporation has been fined such a huge amount in antitrust penalties. This is not the first time Google has been on the wrong side of the European Union. Last year the tech behemoth was fined a record $2.7 billion in antitrust penalties for favouring their own shopping comparison tool over others.
The ruling comes as a part of the concern raised by EU over Google’s use of the Android Ecosystem to force phone-makers into bundling Google apps as default apps in the phones. One such example is the Search and Chrome apps which need to be pre-installed. Even if Android is an open-source software, if the search and chrome apps are not present, the manufacturers are not allowed to use the Play Store on such devices. You can check out the full report here.
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The fines have now become a total of $6.7 billion+. Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai had a call with EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager to alert the company of the impending penalty. A lot of other companies have weighed in on the decision. EU has had a history of issuing fines, with the most recent being target being Google. The Union has been scrutinising Android more than ever thanks to rivals who complained that Google was abusing its power.
While the fines are something Google can deal with thanks to them raking in $110.9 billion every year, an order freeing up manufacturers from Google could spell trouble for the tech behemoth. Google’s Android OS is a part of almost 80% of devices on the market currently. If they lose the power to dictate the use of apps, it could mean losses in millions to them.