Trump slams European Union over massive Google fine

Marcus Newton
July 20, 2018

US President Donald Trump on Thursday attacked the European Union for fining Google $7.4 billion ($5 billion US) for harming its competitors, tweeting that the incident proved the regional bloc has "taken advantage of the USA, but not for long!"

In announcing the fine on Wednesday, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager accused Google of using the Android system's near-stranglehold on smartphones and tablets to promote the use of its own Google search engine while shutting out rivals.

"Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine".

Alphabet has enough cash to easily pay off the five-billion-dollar fine, but the firm says it will still appeal the ruling. "Now, you wouldn't think of the European Union, but they're a foe".

European Union officials have been investigating Google contracts that require manufacturers of Android phones to take Google's search and browser apps and other Google services when they want to license the Play app store.

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

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The European Commission exceeds last year's then-record 2.4 billion-euro penalty following an investigation into Google's shopping-search service.

Two former antitrust enforcers said it was unusual but not unheard of for officials to comment on decisions by enforcers in other jurisdictions.

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.

Phone makers that refused were reportedly blocked access to Google's Play app store.

Google provides Android free to smartphone manufacturers and generates most of its revenue from selling advertisements that appear along with search results. She said Google breached antitrust rules by requiring device manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and Chrome.

Levies are based on revenue in the market being probed and can't exceed 10 percent of a company's global annual revenue. That would yield crucial real estate for app developers given that about 80 percent of smart mobile devices use Android.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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