EU gets ready to fine Google in Android antitrust suit

The European Commission sent a near-final version of its charge sheet to complainants last week

The European Commission is preparing to fine Google for paying smartphone makers to exclusively use its search engine on their mobile devices, according to Reuters.

The European Union's antitrust authority filed a so-called statement of objections against Google in April, accusing it of forcing smartphone makers to exclusively use its search engine if they want access to the Play Store, through which phone users can download and purchase other apps.

Now the Commission has sent a redacted copy of that statement of objections to complainants, Reuters reported after seeing the document.

The Commission plans to order Google to stop offering payments or discounted license fees to smartphone makers for putting its search engine and app store on their phones systems based on Android.

If Google does not stop, the company faces a fine "at a level which will be sufficient to ensure deterrence," Reuters quoted the document as saying. The fine will be calculated based on the duration of the anticompetitive practices -- from January 2011 to the present -- and the revenue they generate, including that from AdWords clicks by European users, Google Search product queries, Play Store apps purchase and AdMob in-app advertisements, said the document sent to complainants last week.

A spokesman for Fairsearch, a group lobbying for competition in online and mobile search, said the organization had no immediate comment on the report. Google and the European Commission did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in April that she is concerned that Google, by forcing phone makers to exclusively use certain of its own apps, is excluding rival app developers from a key way to reach new customers: pre-loading them on new smartphones.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Google

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?