Google’s record fine

EU slams tech gi­ant for re­strict­ing com­pe­ti­tion through apps

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - WORLD -

EURO­PEAN reg­u­la­tors came down hard on an­other US tech gi­ant on Wed­nes­day, fin­ing Google a record $5 bil­lion for forc­ing cell­phone mak­ers that use the com­pany’s An­droid op­er­at­ing sys­tem to in­stall Google search and browser apps.

The Euro­pean Union said Google’s prac­tices re­strict com­pe­ti­tion and re­duce choices for con­sumers.

While Google can eas­ily af­ford the fine, the rul­ing could un­der­mine the com­pany’s busi­ness model, which re­lies on giv­ing away its op­er­at­ing sys­tem in re­turn for op­por­tu­ni­ties to sell ads and other prod­ucts.

Google im­me­di­ately said it will ap­peal, ar­gu­ing that its free op­er­at­ing sys­tem has led to lower-price phones and cre­ated com­pe­ti­tion with its chief com­peti­tor, Ap­ple.

An­droid has “cre­ated more choice for ev­ery­one, not less,” Google CEO Sun­dar Pichai tweeted.

Google has 90 days to put reme­dies in place re­gard­less of its ap­peal – which could in­volve un­bundling key apps and al­low­ing An­droid hand­set man­u­fac­tur­ers to sell de­vices us­ing al­tered ver­sions of An­droid.

Mozilla Foun­da­tion, the non-profit group that cre­ates the light­weight ad-block­ing browser Fire­fox Fo­cus, said the rul­ing gives it the op­por­tu­nity to dis­place Chrome as the de­fault browser in some phones.

It has been in talks with man­u­fac­tur­ers from Huawei to Sam­sung about that.

The rul­ing cre­ates “a huge op­por­tu­nity,” Denelle Dixon, Mozilla’s chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, said on Wed­nes­day.

It’s also pos­si­ble not much will change. Google Search, Chrome and the Play Store are pop­u­lar with con­sumers and de­vel­op­ers. Hand­set man­u­fac­tur­ers could choose them de­spite un­bundling.

In its rul­ing, the EU said Google broke the rules by re­quir­ing cell­phone mak­ers to take a bun­dle of Google apps if they wanted any at all.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.