Finance

Google hit with £3.78 billion EC fine

Google hit with £3.78 billion EC fine

The European Commission has fined Google five billion USA dollars for anti-trust violations - the biggest fine given by European anti-trust regulators against a single firm.

But it's not going to be easy to just ditch Android, and one of Bloomberg's sources actually suggests the company may not be that serious about the idea - calling it a "senior-engineer retention project" created to keep Google's talent busy so they don't go and join rival companies.

He wrote on Twitter on Thursday: "I told you so!"

It has also taken on Facebook over privacy issues after it admitted that millions of users may have had their data hijacked by British consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica, which was working for Trump's 2016 election campaign.

The European Commission (EC) announced the record-breaking fine on Wednesday after a three-year investigation concluded that Google was in breach of competition law by forcing OEMs to pre-install its search and browser apps in order to licence access to the Google Play Store.

It nearly doubles the €2.42b - about Dollars $2.8b - that the European Union levied against the company past year over promoting its own shopping comparison service at the top of its search results.

The fine is the largest ever issued by the European Commission in an antitrust case and will surpasses the €2.42bn penalty issued to the Silicon Valley firm past year.

Google Europe CEO Sundar Pichai posted a blog defending the tech company's position, saying the ruling ignores the fact that Android phones compete with iOS phones.

Mr Pichai said: "The free distribution of the Android platform, and of Google's suite of applications, is not only efficient for phone makers and operators-it's of huge benefit for developers and consumers".

It represents just over two weeks of revenue for Google parent Alphabet and would scarcely dent its cash reserves of $102.9 billion.

Margrethe Vestager, the Competition Commissioner for the European Union, stated the huge fine would force Google to change its ways, increasing the chances of competition search apps and browsers to be downloaded.

Levies are based on revenue in the market being probed and can't exceed 10 percent of a company's global annual revenue.


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