Google received the highest fine in the world from the European Commission: $ 5 billion


Google, one of the largest technology companies in the world, was fined by the European Commission yesterday with a record amount of 4.34 billion euros ($ 5 billion). The reasons are anti-competitive practices related to how the Android operating system is implemented on smartphones and the business model of the company. This fine comes just one year after Google received another 2.4 billion euro fine for its online shopping service that favors certain products.

Practically, the European Commission does not agree that all Android devices are factory-fitted with Google apps and services, regardless of manufacturer. Thus, competition in the search market such as search engines does not have equal chances since Android smartphones have the majority of the market. One of the arguments for this historic fine was the fact that other search or search engine manufacturers do not have equal chances in the market.

Sundar Pichai, the Google CEO, has published on his blog a formal statement explaining that users can always uninstall Google apps and replace them with others on the Google Play Store by offering some examples of popular alternatives to Google Chrome .

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"The decision overlooks the fact that phones with the Android operating system are competing with iOS phones, a confirmed aspect of 89% of market participants made by the Commission. Also omits the fact that Android offers countless choices to thousands of phone manufacturers and mobile network operators who produce and sell Android devices; millions of application developers around the world who have built their business with Android and billions of consumers who now allow and use state-of-the-art Android smartphones.

And this is possible thanks to simple rules that guarantee technical compatibility, regardless of the size or shape of the device. No phone manufacturer is required to adopt these rules - they can use or modify Android in any way they want, as Amazon did with Fire tablets and TV sticks.

If you have other application preferences - or browsers or search engines - than pre-installed, you can easily uninstall or delete them, and you can opt for other apps, including the ones created by approximately 1.6 million Europeans who earn their living as developers applications. Basically, a regular Android phone user will install just about 50 applications. "Overall, over 94 billion apps from the Google Play store have been downloaded last year. "Browsers such as Opera Mini and Firefox have been downloaded more than 100 million times, UC Browser for more than 500 million times."

The European Commission has set the deadline for October to end "illegal practices". Otherwise, the company will have to pay 5% of the income for each additional day. But to put a $ 5 billion fine into the $ 5 billion fine, it is equal to the company's revenue for just 16 days since 2017. Last year, the company recorded revenues of $ 110.9 billion.

Google will appeal this decision by appeal, so it will take some time for us to find out the outcome of this case. If Google misses the call, Android smartphones sold in the EU may be delivered without default Google apps, so the company has to offer users various application options for the first device setup, a problem with which Microsoft also faced a few years ago.

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