Friday, 08 June 2018 06:36

EU may hit Google with Android anti-trust fine in July: report Featured

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Search giant Google is likely to face another hefty anti-trust fine from the European Union in July, this time over its Android mobile operating system.

Citing three people familiar with the matter, Reuters reported that this fine was likely to be announced in the second week of July though the timing could change.

If it is announced, this would be the second fine levied by the EU on Google. In June last year Google was fined €2.42 billion (US$2.7 billion) for allegedly abusing its search engine dominance to give illegal advantage to its own comparison shopping service. The company has appealed the decision.

It has also been reported that the company is likely to face an EU fine over its AdSense advertising system.

The EU has also floated the idea of breaking up Google into a number of smaller units, with the EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager saying the political bloc harbours "grave suspicions" about the firm's dominance of the search market.

In February, the Competition Commission of India hit the company with a fine of 135.86 crore rupees (about US$21.1 million) for "abusing its dominant position in online general Web search and Web search advertising services in India".

Google and other big multinational technology companies are also under pressure over alleged tax evasion, with the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, unveiling a proposal to tax these companies at a rate of 3% as an interim measure.

Reuters said that the fine over Android would be more than that already levied — €2.42 billion — so that it would act as a deterrent to other companies.

The EU was also set to tell Google to stop indulging in anti-competitive practices such as licensing deals which prevent smartphone vendors from promoting alternatives to services such as Google Search and Google Maps, the news agency said.

iTWire has contacted Google for comment.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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