Published: Fri, July 20, 2018
Business | By Eloise Houston

Pichai responds to European Union fine, hints Google might start charging for Android

Pichai responds to European Union fine, hints Google might start charging for Android

WASHINGTON-President Donald Trump said on Thursday that the European Union's $5 billion antitrust fine on Alphabet Inc.'s Google is evidence that the bloc has "taken advantage of the USA", and suggested that change is on the way. In this way, it has cemented the dominance of its search engine.

President Trump is slamming the European Union over its decision to fine Google. The European Union started a flame war when it fined the United States firm $5 billion for monopoly violations.

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of CT tweeted that the fine should "be a wake-up call" to the Federal Trade Commission and "should lead U.S. enforcers to protect consumers".

The fine is the largest ever issued by the European Commission in an antitrust case and will surpasses the €2.42bn penalty issued to the Silicon Valley firm previous year.

Vestager, who has taken on a string of Silicon Valley titans as European Union antitrust chief, said Google "must put an effective end to this conduct within 90 days or face penalty payments" of up to five percent of its average daily turnover. "We will appeal the Commission's decision".

In a post proclaiming that Android has created more choice, not less, Google CEO Sundar Pichai pointed out that Hey, 11 years ago, Google chose to give away Android.

The EU is also targeting Google's payments to telecoms operators and manufacturers who exclusively install Google search on devices and contracts that prevent handset makers selling phones using other versions of Android. There are more than two billion Android devices - including phones, tablets, and watches - being used around the world every month.

The Android case originated when a lobbying group called FairSearch - with members then including huge tech companies like Microsoft, Nokia and Oracle - complained that Google was unfairly tilting the field of competition.

A third antitrust case against Google is also still open in the European Union, which alleges the tech giant holds dominance in online advertising via its Adsense tool.

Levies are based on revenue in the market being probed and can't exceed 10 percent of a company's global annual revenue.

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