“Google has been hit with a record €4.34bn (£3.8bn) fine by the European Union for abusing its market dominance in mobile phone operating systems,” Jennifer Rankin reports for The Guardian. “The EU imposed the multibillion-euro penalty after finding that the US tech firm required smartphone manufacturers to pre-instal Google’s search and browser apps devices using its Android operating system, otherwise they would not be allowed to use its Google Play online store and streaming service.”
“Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner, said Google has used its Android mobile phone operating system ‘to cement its dominance as a search engine,’ preventing rivals from innovating and competing ‘and this is illegal under EU antitrust rules,'” Rankin reports. “Vestager added: ‘The vast majority of users simply take what comes with their device and don’t download competing apps. Or to slightly paraphrase what [US free market economist] Milton Friedman has said ‘there ain’t no such thing as a free search.””
“The decision could raise tensions with the US government before a visit to the White House by the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, next week,” Rankin reports. “Juncker will meet the US president, Donald Trump, on 25 July for talks on the economy, counter-terrorism, energy security, foreign policy and security.”
European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager: "I very much like the US. I'm from Denmark, and that's what we tend to do. We like the US."https://t.co/KJAMhr5nyz pic.twitter.com/3FYZff80yo
— euronews (@euronews) July 18, 2018
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote yesterday:
Regardless of the amount of fine, it’ll be too little, too late. To actually restore competition in search and online advertising, Google would need to be broken up.
Moment of truth for Google as record EU antitrust fine looms – July 16, 2018