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EU FINES GOOGLE $5B

The European Union has slapped Google with a record $5.1b fine for breaching antitrust rules by cementing “its dominant position in general internet search” on handheld devices. The web company says it will appeal.

The EU has ordered Google to end the practice within 90 days or begin paying a penalty of up to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of Google’s parent Alphabet.

The EU said that because android phones are preloaded with Google apps and services, the company has an unfair advantage that gives the company a leg up on others in attracting app users and, in turn, advertisers.

“These practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on the merits,” EU Competition Chief Margrethe Vestager said.

The EU is taking issue with the agreements Google strikes with phone makers and telecommunications companies and has ordered Google to stop requiring that phone makers pre-install the Chrome web browser and make Google the default search engine It also asks that Google eliminate restrictions that keep manufacturers from selling devices that run unofficial versions of Android.

Google’s 2017 net profit was $12.6b; the $5.1b fine is about 40% of that number. It’s quite likely the appeal will take years to resolve, during which time we'll get Lycos up and running on our Blackberries. 

 

 

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