Google faces EU anti-trust fines over Android: sources

June 7, 2018
The internet giant may be on the hook for billions of euros in fines

The EU's powerful anti-trust authority is set to decide in the coming weeks that Google unfairly punishes rivals of its Android mobile phone operating system and faces billions of euros in fines, sources said on Thursday.

The long-expected decision comes as transatlantic tensions are at a pinnacle in the wake of shock tariffs by the US on European steel and aluminium imports and an EU privacy crackdown on US tech giants, including Facebook.

Several sources with knowledge of the matter told AFP that the decision could land in the next few weeks, most likely in July.

Brussels has already spent eight years targeting Google, fuelled by a deep apprehension of the company's dominance of Internet search across Europe, where it commands about 90 percent of the market.

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager "likes taking people by surprise," said one source, referring to the steely former Danish minister who has led the campaign against Google.

The case against Android is the most significant of three complaints by the EU against the search titan, which has already been hit with a record-breaking 2.4-billion-euro fine in a Google shopping case.

In the Android file, the European Commission has accused Google of obstructing innovation by giving unfair prominence to its own apps, especially its search engine, in deals with mobile phone manufacturers such as Samsung and Huawei.

Google is on the hook to be fined 10 percent of Google's parent company Alphabet's annual revenue, which hit $110.9 billion in 2017.

Both Google and the European Commission refused to comment on this information when questioned by AFP.

Explore further: Google faces new EU anti-trust charges: sources

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