EU Considers Another Massive Fine for Google Over Android
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The European Union and Google aren't the best of friends right now. Late last month, the European Commission issued its largest ever fine, demanding $2.7 billion from Google along with a change to its shopping comparison practices. Google, of course, is determined to appeal the decision and fine.
According to Reuters, that fine may soon look small if EU antitrust regulators decide to punish Google over its anti-competitive practices with regards to Android.
Following a complaint by lobby group FairSearch, the European Commission charged Google last year with shutting out rivals on Android. More specifically, the practice of requiring smartphone manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and the Chrome web browser. If that isn't done, Google may choose to lock those devices out of other services such as Google Play. The Commission is also not happy with Google paying to ensure Google Search is the default on devices.
Before the potentially huge fine can be agreed upon, a panel of experts has been set up and asked to review the case. This will form a second opinion and help guide the Commission not only on the size of the fine, but also what action Google is required to take going forward.
It's those actions that could end up being the most damaging for Google. They could include allowing a choice of default search, the ability to install alternative app stores meaning Google Play is no longer guaranteed on the majority of devices, and similar rules for other Google-owned services that you typically find on new Android phones and tablets.