Google finds friend in Trump amid European Union battle

Friday, 20 Jul, 2018

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the United States tech giant illegally used Android's near-monopoly to boost usage of its own search engine and browser.

Vestager said Google had shut out rivals by forcing major phone makers including South Korea's Samsung and China's Huawei to pre-install its search engine and Google Chrome browser, thereby freezing out rivals.

Google also countered the EU's statement which said that the tech giant has prevented manufacturers wishing to pre-install Google apps by saying that it's easy to remove a preloaded app and replace it with an alternative.

As a result, Google has been given 90 days to stop what the European Union said were "illegal practices" on contracts with handset manufacturers that push Google services in front of users.

The EU has fined Google a record €4.3bn over Android antitrust
Android might not remain free because of new EU ruling

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.

There is little doubt that Pichai is trying to warn customers, OEMs, and lawmakers alike that Android's inability to be used as a vector for getting Google apps and services into the hands of users could mean that it will need to make money in other ways - namely, charging for Android installations. "A vibrant ecosystem, rapid innovation and lower prices are classic hallmarks of robust competition". Google Search and Chrome are as a result pre-installed on the "significant majority" of devices sold in the EU, the European Commission says.

After getting slapped by European Union with a record fine of $5 billion for abusing the dominance of the Android operating system, Google has released an official statement hinting a future where Android might not be free. Across Europe, 90 per cent of the markets studied by the Commission were dominated by Google.

It is likely to stoke tensions between Europe and the USA, which regulates the tech industry with a lighter hand and has complained that the European Union is singling out American companies for punishment. Google acknowledged the existence of Fuchsia in 2017, when Android VP of engineering Dave Burke called it an "early-stage experimental project."

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