If you follow tech news, you know that the European Union has not been happy with how Google is running its Android platform especially since they’re big on fair competition. And now they’re imposing a record $5 billion fine on the tech company for what they say are antitrust violations. They’re also giving them 90 days to stop specific practices or else they will be facing more fines in the future. Meanwhile, Google CEO Sundai Pichai refutes all the accusations about their unfair practices.
The European Commission has chosen to fine Google 3.4 billion euros because the company is imposing illegal restrictions on other Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators so that they are allowed into the Android playground. They identified three specific practices that they find unacceptable: that they require manufacturers to pre-install the Google Search app and Chrome browser app so they can install the Google Play Store on their device; that they pay companies to pre-install the Google Search app on their devices; and that they insist that device manufacturers don’t run custom versions of Android.
Of course we expected Google to give a response to this and we got it in the form of a blog post by Pichai, claiming that they have in fact created more choices for users, given that there are 1,300 different brands across 24,000 devices and that users can choose from different price points. He also cited that there are a million apps available in the Google Play Store. He also explained that the restrictions that they place on manufacturers are more for technical compatibility rather than getting an unfair advantage over its competitors.
He also stated that users always have the option to uninstall their apps and to install apps of their own choosing. However, what the EU is pointing out is that most people will just go with whatever is pre-installed and most of the time, those are Google apps. Google will have 90 days to bring their “illegal conduct” to an end or else they will have to pay 5% of the “average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet” which just means to say, a lot. Google is still appealing this decision so we’ll wait and see how this all turns out and if it will, as Pichai said, “upset the careful balance that we have struck with Android.”
July 19, 2018 at 05:03AM