Many YouTube vloggers and others loathe the name “Google” over what they see as censorship, and those people are possibly having a hardy laugh today as news from CNBC reported the company’s latest woe. The European Union regulators have seen fit to hit Google’s parent company, Alphabet, “with a record 4.34 billion euro ($5 billion) antitrust fine for abusing the dominance of its Android mobile operating system,” also confirmed by Europa News.
Statista has revealed that Android is “by far the most popular smartphone OS in the world.” In a statement, Google disclosed that they plan to appeal the ruling and did not agree with the E.U. that their “software was restrictive to fair competition.”
The E.U.’s stance is that since Alphabet favors it’s own services and makes manufacturers “pre-install Google apps Chrome and Search in a bundle with its app store, Play,” that is proof enough.
Google also was found to have been paying phone makers “to exclusively pre-install Google search on their devices” and they even prohibited them from selling modified (“forked“) Android versions.
With all of that being true, it would be interesting to see just what Alphabet would call restrictive.
If the conduct does not stop within just 90 days, they shall “face additional charges of up to 5 percent of Alphabet’s average daily worldwide revenue.”
Recently, the European Union hit the company with a staggering $2.7 billion dollar penalty, the largest in its history. Clearly, they are done playing nice with Google and of allowing their clout to block out the sun, so to speak.
In a strange twist, the E.U. did not find Apple to have”sufficiently constrain[ed]” Google, even though they too have apps pre-applied on iPads and other devices.
EU Commissioner for competition Margrethe Vestager said, “They have products that we all like and like to use. The only thing we don’t like is when they get to misuse their success and put in place illegal restrictions.”
She added, “the thing that Google has to do now is, of course, to stop.”
Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, wrote in a blog posting that the commission failed to understand “the fact that Android phones compete with iOS phones.” He also felt that it was easy for those who did not wish to use Google programs to choose other options.
Just the same, Vestager stuck by the ruling and said, “Our decision stops Google from controlling which search and browser apps manufacturers can pre-install on Android devices or which Android operating system they can adopt.”
For a company that some people feel is obsessed with control at any cost, that statement likely went down like curdled milk.