Google faces EU fine of €2.4bn over Android phones

Google faces EU fine of €2.4bn over Android phones

By Foo Yun Chee

Google is expected to be hit with a second EU competition fine in mid-July for using its dominant Android mobile operating system to squeeze out rivals, according to three sources.

The European Commission, which has been investigating the case involving the unit of Alphabet since 2015, could issue its decision in the week of July 9, although the timing might change.

As a deterrent to others, the EU penalty is likely to top the record €2.4bn fine handed out to Google last year for unfairly favouring its shopping service, sources told Reuters last year.

The EU competition enforcer will also tell Google to stop its anti-competitive practices such as licensing deals which prevent smartphone makers from promoting alternatives to apps such as Google Search and Maps.

Android is the most important of three EU cases against world No 1 internet search engine Google because of its huge growth potential.

EU-mandated changes, however, may have little impact on Google because of its market power and the benefits of sticking with the company, industry executives, analysts and even its critics have said.

The commission declined to comment.

Google pointed to a 2016 blog by its general counsel Kent Walker who rejected the EU charges.

Google recently sought a closed-door hearing in a bid to present its case to senior commission officials and national competition agencies.

The request came after Google was told of new details and evidence which the regulator plans to use against the company, other sources said. Its request was denied.

A third case where Google was accused of blocking rivals in its online AdSense search advertising in 2016 is likely to drag on to the end of the year or even later, other sources said.

The company has since stopped its alleged anti- competitive behaviour.

Last year, commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that Google had abused its market dominance in shopping by “promoting its own comparison shopping service in its search results, and demoting those of competitors”.

Reuters

More on this topic

Data Protection Commission investigates potential data breach at GoogleData Protection Commission investigates potential data breach at Google

Google to stop making tablet computersGoogle to stop making tablet computers

Google's gaming platform to launch in Ireland this NovemberGoogle's gaming platform to launch in Ireland this November

Data Protection Commission to investigate if Google is GDPR compliantData Protection Commission to investigate if Google is GDPR compliant

More in this Section

Ryanair dealt fresh blow as top executive joins EasyJetRyanair dealt fresh blow as top executive joins EasyJet

Opinion grows ECB rate cut on the cards as early as SeptemberOpinion grows ECB rate cut on the cards as early as September

Donohoe tells watchdog Ifac his long-term budget spending sums are ‘credible’ after all Donohoe tells watchdog Ifac his long-term budget spending sums are ‘credible’ after all

State's first social enterprise policy will ‘unlock potential’ of social businessesState's first social enterprise policy will ‘unlock potential’ of social businesses


Lifestyle

Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich will not let a day pass without his ritual dip in the sea, which he describes as the best anti-depressant ever, says Lorna Siggins.Taking the plunge has a depth of benefits

10% of women suffer from it worldwide.As Alexa Chung reveals she has endometriosis, here’s everything you need to know about the condition

Pinnies, cookie cutters and wooden spoons at the ready.Food projects to do with the kids this summer

Stop. Climbing. Uluru.As tourists rush to climb Uluru despite an incoming ban – 5 ways to enjoy the rock respectfully

More From The Irish Examiner