Google might face up to $11 billion of fine from the EU as the scrutiny over the search engine giant has been increased by the authorities. According to the report, European Commission is preparing to lock down the antitrust probe into the Google’s Android mobile operating system. The fine commission is expected to impose on Google is likely to be announced in July.
European Union’s antitrust czar Margrethe Vestager will be leading the probe reportedly, he will probably look into the accusations that Google has unfairly used its dominance in the mobile marketplace to its advantage. The fine Google will face might be the record high as compared to the previous highest fine of $2.7 billion.
The EU first investigated the Google’s alleged abuse of Android back in 2016. Initially, EU commission charged Google with accusations that Google forced phone manufacturers to install Chrome Browser and search tools in their devices, Google has allegedly paid incentives to the manufacturers to do this as well as threatened to cut off their access to Play Store if they do not follow.
“A competitive mobile internet sector is increasingly important for consumers and businesses in Europe,” Vestager in a statement. “We believe that Google’s behaviour denies consumers a wider choice of mobile apps and services and stands in the way of innovation by other players, in breach of EU antitrust rules.”
Google was hit by $2.7 billion fine for manipulating search results to its own shopping service and restricted third-party services from being ranked in the search results that might have better results to show to consumers. Not only EU, Indian regulator the Competition Commission India (CCI) has also imposed a similar fine on Google for defaming other sites and favouring their own in search results.
It is possible that Google might face up to $11 billion or 10 percent of their annual turnover, according to Financial Times. If this happens it would be a significant blow to the company and exactly what EU wants to deliver.
EU is continuously pressurizing Google now for the last few years; the scrutiny to search engine giants has been increased lately. EU’s competition commission has reportedly shown interest in breaking up the company.
Federal Trade Commission has been asked last month to look into the possibility that Google is tracking the location of Android Users without permission. The Australian government has also initiated a similar probe. Google holds the 90% of the search market along with 90% of the smartphone operating system market worldwide.
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