The chickens are coming home to roost in the European Union and they’re pecking at Google big time. The European Union has already doled out a €2.42 billion euro fine to Google over its placement of shopping services in search results. Now the EU has Google’s Android OS square in its sights and they could level an even bigger fine in this case. The subject for debate here is whether or not Google is leveraging its hold on Android to force the use of Google apps and services. Of course everyone has a different view on the matter but in the end, it will be the EU’s call.
The Commission in April last year charged Google with using its dominant Android mobile operating system to shut out rivals following a complaint by lobby group FairSearch, U.S.-based ad-blocking and privacy firm Disconnect Inc, Portuguese apps store Aptoide and Russia’s Yandex.
“If Google was forced to unbundle Google Play from its other Digital Life services, handset makers and operators would be free to set whatever they like by default potentially triggering a decline in the usage of Google’s services,” he said, referring to Google’s apps store.
As if the shopping and Android cases weren’t enough. Google has a third case in the European Union courts that revolves around its AdSense platform which is still being heard. All of these cases are calling into question Google’s dominant place in the respective markets and whether or not Google is taking advantage of that dominance. Having already lost the shopping services case, Google may still appeal, though things aren’t looking great for Google in the Android case. It also seems the EU is moving faster than usual lately to perhaps start buttoning up all three cases quickly and get the ruling in their favor.
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