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Google's European Problem Is Just Getting Started As The EU Contemplates Another Fine

6 July 2017, 12:05 pm EDT By Eric Brackett Tech Times
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Google is reportedly facing a second fine from EU regulators over antitrust violations. This time, the fine is in relation to the Android operating system.

The EU regulators have reportedly asked for a panel of experts to weigh in on their decision regarding Google's alleged violation of EU antitrust laws.

Android Antitrust Charges

The antitrust commission has alleged that Google used the dominance of its Android operating system to manipulate the market in its favor. Reuters's sources say that Google demanded phone manufacturers to install Google Search and Google Chrome on their devices in exchange for getting access to other important Google apps. It is also alleged that Google barred manufacturers from using other versions of the Android OS.

While mainly associated with the Google variant, Android is an open-source platform, and phone manufacturers could theoretically craft their own OS. Amazon's Fire Phone, for example, used the Fire OS, which was based on an open-source version of Android. Since the main purpose of the Fire phone and Fire tablets is to get users into Amazon's own ecosystem, they weren't bothered by the lack of Play Store or Google app access. However, such a blow would likely kill any other smartphone manufacturer. In fact, it is likely part of the reason the Fire phone did so poorly.

Google's Battle With EU

Google and parent company Alphabet are recently having a difficult time with the EU. The regulatory commission recently handed down a record-breaking fine of 2.4 billion euros over the company's alleged manipulation of Google Shopping results.

Beyond that, there are two unresolved cases before the EU. The first is the aforementioned antitrust charge involving the Android OS. The second is a case involving Google's AdSense program. Allegedly, the company used its position in the market to force competitors to not make use of any ad platforms other than AdSense. The European Commission has also said that it might open more investigations into Google.

The fines themselves might be record breaking, but to a company as large as Alphabet, they aren't the real problem. A larger issue is the fact that the EU's rulings may make it easier for companies to challenge Google in European courts.

Between the threat of increased fines, more court cases, and the possibility of more investigations, Googles European problem may be just be getting started.

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Eric Brackett Tech Times editor Eric Brackett is a tech junkie and a gamer, covering science and technology. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter for updates and his random thoughts on the latest trends in gaming, tech, and comic books.

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