Pichai responds to European Union fine, hints Google might start charging for Android

Joanna Estrada
July 19, 2018

That announcement came along with a record-breaking fine of €4.34b (USD $5.05b). "All efforts to divide the European Union are in vain".

Having said that, the fine represents just over two weeks of revenue for Google parent company Alphabet, according to Reuters - a sum that "would scarcely dent" the company's current cash reserves of $102.9b.

Following the EU's decision to slam Google with an exorbitant fine for anti-competitive behavior - an unprecedented $5 billion - CEO Sundar Pichai published a memo where he outlines why Google requires smartphone makers to set Chrome and Search as default services if they want access to the Google Play Store.

The fine was issued over what the European Union describes as "illegal practices" over how the internet giant implements its search and web browser apps on the devices of Android smartphone makers. Margrethe Vestager said Google had used its popular mobile software to protect its position in search.

"These practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on the merits", Vestager said.

Google has been pushing its web browser and Google search while also preventing hardware makers from releasing handsets that run a forked version of Android, all things that the European Commission has given Google 90 days to cease.

The president appeared to be using the antitrust fine as a salvo in his escalating trade war with the EU.

The ruling against Google stipulates that the company will need to unbundle its Chrome and Search apps from Android, which may significantly change the free business model the tech giant has been pursuing with the mobile OS. "But we are concerned that today's decision will upset the careful balance that we have struck with Android, and that it sends a troubling signal in favor of proprietary systems over open platforms".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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