Google Will Soon Owe the EU Billions in Second Antitrust Case
The EU is set to slap Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) with a multi-billion dollar USD fine in an antitrust ruling related to its widely popular Android mobile operating system. The ruling is expected to be finalized in early July.
The investigation that is finally culminating in the as-of-yet undisclosed fine (expected to eclipse last summer’s amount) centered around Google unfairly leveraging its dominance in mobile, specifically looking at how Google used licensing deals with handset makers to favor its app store.
The EU isn’t exactly breaking new ground with this move. Just last summer they hit Google with a $2.8 billion USD fine for what it called engaging in anti-competitive practices related to its online shopping service. Its search results would steer users towards using its service which saw a small slice of revenue from every purchase making its way back to Mountain View, CA.
Some industry experts have pointed out that Google doesn’t even need to use heavy-handed tactics to force the Play Store (now officially Google Play Store) onto handsets as its easily the most popular means for Android users to download applications. Google can merely dial back some of the licensing agreements that pertain to the app store and escape future fines.
Google did try to get a private hearing in an attempt to present its case to EU Commission officials after it learned of new details and evidence which the regulator plans to use against the company, sources said. The EU denied this request with no explanation given.
And that’s not even the end of the road for Google’s regulation woes. There is possibly a third massive fine coming down the road. The EU is still investigating some anti-competitive practices related to Google’s bread and butter Adsense clicks-driven advertising platform. This could potentially eclipse both of the earlier fines and might be very dangerous as this is Google’s lifeblood.