Another bad day for Google as the search giant got hit by a second multi-billion euro fine. Barely a year ago, the European Union charged a record 2.42 billion euro fine, alleging that Google demoted price comparison services of rivals in its search results. Now Google is hit by a second fine of 4.34 billion for illegal restrictions on the use of Android.
Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, explains Google is violating EU antitrust rules in three major ways. First up, Google will be required to stop forcing manufacturers to pre-install Chrome and Google Search in order to offer the Google Play Store on smartphones and tablets. Additionally, Google will also need to stop preventing the use of forked versions of Android.
The European Commission now wants Google to bring its “illegal conduct to an end in an effective manner within 90 days of the decision.” That means Google will need to stop forcing manufacturers to pre-install Chrome and Google Search in order to offer the Google Play store on handsets. Google will also need to stop preventing phone makers from using forked versions of Android, as the commission says Google “did not provide any credible evidence that Android forks would be affected by technical failures or fail to support apps.” Google’s illegal payments for app bundling ceased in 2014 after the EU started to look into the issue.
Google said it will appeal the decision. This is the largest EU antitrust fine ever, it's almost double as large as the previous fine levied on Google, and nearly quadruple as much as the 1.06 billion EUR fine in the 2009 Intel antitrust investigation. More details at The Verge.