The European Commission is preparing to slap a fine on Google for abusing the promotion of the Android operating system on the market, the resulst of an investigation conducted by the European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager, who is known as the world’s powerful tech regulator.
The European Union frowns at the policy of interaction between Google and smartphone manufacturers. According to the commissioner, Google offered financial preferences to manufacturers if they agreed to set the maximum number of offers of the search giant and, on the contrary, threatened to block access to Google Play if the manufacturer refused to pre-install the browser Chrome or Google-search in the original version of the firmware.
In addition, Google made sure that manufacturers of smartphones with Google services did not release models with a modified Android without Google Play, but with an alternative application store or pre-installed analogues of Chrome, Youtube, etc. To do this, manufacturers were forced to sign agreements against the fragmentation of Android.
“Margrethe Vestager had a very good approach on getting on to market discrimination and unfair practices on the digital market. There is far too little on the challenges we are facing right now,” said Jan Philipp Albrecht, a German Green MEP and one of the EU’s best-known privacy campaigners.
In 2015, Russian company Yandex put forward similar claims against Google. Following the investigation, the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia fined Google to 438 million rubles.
To date, the share of smartphones running Android is more than 85%, and Google search accounts for approximately 90% of search requests worldwide.