The European Union plans to fine Google for using the Android platform to strengthen its search engine and improve the value of other products in the market. Google gives its OS to the manufacturers free of cost, but it includes the exclusivity clauses which require the manufacturer to pre-install Google Chrome and the Google search option in the phone if they want to use Google Play Store.
The European Commission Competition Chief, Margrethe Vestager, overlooked the case for the last three years after complaints were received regarding Google. The allegations stated that Google is enforcing its apps over the manufacturers in exchange for a license for them to use the Android OS in their phones. The complaints were lodged by Google’s competitors who quoted that this strategy makes up the abuse of 74% market share that Android holds in the European smartphone market.
Google responded to some of the allegations and said that this step is necessary to keep a healthy competition between Apple and their own company. The company also said that they need to do this to keep the Android Platform free for the manufacturers. The European Commission has the power to fine Alphabet, Google’s Parent company, up to 10% of their annual revenue.
This means that the commission can fine Alphabet nearly 8.4 billion pounds. However, the commission is expected to fine more than 2.1 billion pounds which is the amount that was fined to Google in 2016 over unfairly favoring its own Shopping Comparison tool over competitors. Along with the fine, the Commission is also expected to order Google to break all its existing partnerships with the manufacturers. This can result in Google losing a major part of its share due to the absence of its app in phones. However, this action will also encourage competitors like Bing to enhance their operations as well.