EU to punish Google for anti-competitive practices for Android devices

The European Union antitrust regulators will be sending out a document to Alphabet’s Google, warning them that if they do not stop their anti-competitive practices for the Android devices, they will receive severe and huge punishments for their violations. This involves giving financial rewards to smartphone manufacturers who pre-install the Google Search app on their Android devices. Google has been accused of using the Android OS to shut out its app competitors and the EU has had enough.

The 150-page document has actually been sent to Google back in April, but is now being sent to the complainants last week to get their feedback before it is officially enforced. The charge sheet or statement of objections specifies that Google has to stop paying or rewarding through discounts those companies that choose to pre-install the Google Search app on their devices. They also need to stop pressuring the OEMs to pre-install proprietary apps if this means they are left without a choice even if they wanted to pre-install Google’s competitors.

FairSearch, a lobby group from Google’s competitors, filed a complaint last March 2013 but the EU’s investigation showed that the anti-competitive practices have been going on since 2011 and up to the present. This means that the tech giant may be facing a huge fine, big enough to “ensure deterrence”, according to the document. The amount may be based on how much AdWords earned from European clicks, Google Search product inquiries, Play Store purchases, and AdMob’s in-app advertisements. In other words, huge.

Meanwhile, Google said that they are looking forward to proving to the European Commission that the Android model is actually designed in a way that would be good for both their competition and consumers. They also believe they can prove that they are supporting innovation across the region.

VIA: Reuters