Google Must Unwind Dozens of Contracts in Ruling
The $5 billion fine by the European Union against Google for forcing companies to bundle its own search and browser apps on Android operating systems represents a major blow to the internet giant and a sign that other American tech companies may soon be fined by the EU. The record fine was nearly double the $2.8 billion fine levied by the EU last year for unfairly favoring its own search services, according to The New York Times.
According to VentureBeat.com, the antitrust case may be the first of many, with other targets in the EU’s sights, such as FaceBook, Amazon and Apple. The ruling also forces Google to remove its apps from the devices. European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager cited the suppression of “effective competition in the important mobile sphere,” illegal under EU rules.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Google has been given only 90 days to make changes to comply with the ruling, an impossible feat to carry out. It will have to rewrite contracts with “dozens of partners,” the story asserts. The partners include HTC, Huawei and Samsung.
“Today’s decision rejects the business model that supports Android, which has created more choice for everyone, not less,” Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, said in a blog post following the decision.
Google plans to appeal the decision.