Google gets fined €4.34 billion for antitrust practices with Android

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Google is getting fined 4.34 billion euros for three major antitrust practices on Android. Google now has 90 days to stop these practices or face additional fines. The three antitrust practices that the European Commission are referring to are:

  • Google requiring manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and Chrome as a condition for licensing the Play Store.
  • Large payments made to large manufacturers and mobile network operators on condition that they only pre-install Google Search on their devices.
  • Prevented manufacturers from selling devices with forked versions of Android (e.g. Lineage OS) with pre-install Google apps.

As a consequence of the ruling, Google, at the minimum, would be barred from re-engaging in the above three points. This ruling could fundamentally change the way Google works with manufacturers and the amount of control Google may have on the operating system.

Question is, does Google engaging in these three points stifle competition? I think it does. It is hard to not use Google on an Android phone. On a platform that is designed to be open source, this should not be the case. I think the best solution is to give the consumer choice when they first setup the phone and allow them to import the previous configuration from a previous phone. This way consumers have the option to opting to default to a different browser and different default search while still having the ability to use the Play Store.

What do you think? Please comment below!

Source: EC Press Release