European Union to slam Google with record fine ahead of Juncker US visit

Android Monopoly Case: Google Might Face Record Fine

Google is likely to find itself dealing with another multibillion-euro fine later this week for mobile device practices the European Commission considers stifling of competition, according to a report published Monday by Reuters.

Stop forcing smartphone makers to pre-install its proprietary apps if this restricts their ability to use competing operating systems based on Android.

In still another probe that's ongoing, Europe is investigating Google's AdSense for Search advertising service.

An investigation by the European Commission of Google's policy regarding Android and phone manufacturers that started in 2013 is expected to end on Wednesday with a fine of over $3 billion. However, it then includes exclusivity clauses which require the manufacturer to pre-install Google's famous browser, the Google Chrome and the Google Search option in the phone if they wish to use the Google Play Store. Android's competitors, including Apple's iPhone and Microsoft's Windows phone, not only do the same, but they allow much less choice in the apps that come with their phones.

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The piece quotes Richard Windsor, an analyst at research company Radio Free Mobile. The European Commission is empowered to fine Google up to 10% of its annual turn-over, or around $11 billion, and the new fine is expected to eclipse that sum.

The EU sanction comes in the midst of a trade conflict between the United States and the EU, which has hit back against U.S. tariffs on European steel and aluminium by targeting $3.2 billion in American exports with higher duties.

"Hence, I think separating Google Play from the rest of Google's Digital Life services would have very little impact as users would simply download and install them from the store", Windsor said.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will meet Trump in Washington D.C. on the trade issue next week.

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Last year, the commission imposed a record €2.4bn (£2.1bn) fine over Google's comparison shopping feature, though the tech giant still continues to push it as part of its core businesses.

It is noted that the decision on Android is the most important in the top three antitrust cases against Google, which holds a dominant position in the mobile applications market.

This past March, European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager said she harboured "grave concerns" over Google's Internet dominance, and the regulatory body she leads was exploring breaking Google into smaller entities to protect competition.

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