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Google Slapped With 4.3 Billion Euro Fine For 'cementing The Dominance' Of Its Search Engine On Android Devices

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Google was fined 4.3 billion Euros by the European Competition Commission for placing restrictions on the Android operating system

Written By Anirudh Sunilkumar | Mumbai | Updated On:

Google has been fined a massive 4.3billion Euros by the European Commission for placing restrictions on its Android operating system.

This is the highest fine that is levied on the silicon valley company by the European Commission so far. In 2017 the company was slapped with a fine of 2.7 billion Euro penalty for anti-trust issues. 

In her tweet, on Wednesday, the European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that the silicon valley based company has been fined because of pf three reasons. 

"Our case is about three types of restrictions that Google has imposed on Android device manufacturers and network operators to ensure that traffic on Android devices goes to the Google search engine. In this way, Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine. These practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on the merits. They have denied European consumers the benefits of effective competition in the important mobile sphere. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules." Vestager said. 

The tech giant was slapped with the fine on the basis of its Android operating system. Unlike Apple's iOS, Android has an open source code, which gives the manufacturer to tweak it according to their will. 

However, it is not completely tweak-able and some of them still remain under Google's control. Most importantly, all the Android system uses Google as their default search engine and Google Chrome as their default browser.

Through its investigation, the commission had found out that Google had required for all Android phones to be pre-installed with the Google search app and Google Chrome. Failing which, the tech giant would deny access for its Play Services. 

"Google offers its mobile apps and services to device manufacturers as a bundle, which includes the Google Play Store, the Google Search app, and the Google Chrome browser," the Commission said in a statement.

In 2016, the commission had found out that 95 percent search queries from Android phones were made through Google.

In its official statement, the commission did not reveal the amount of money that the tech titan paid to phone manufacturers. However, it stated that the payments were 'significant’ and that other search engines won't be able to afford the cost. 

One of the significant manufacturers included in the list was Amazon's Fire OS. However, due to Google's restrictions, the online retailer was prevented from creating and licencing more devices with its OS.

The commission has ordered Google to discontinue its actions within 90 days, failing which the tech giant would be levied more 5 percent of its daily turnover. However, Google claimed that it will appeal the decision which might drag the case in the court until its exhausted all its appeals.

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