Alphabet’s Google might have to shell out $5 billion in antitrust fine to European Union (EU). EU regulators have charged the Android developer for compelling smartphone makers into pre-installing Google Search app and Chrome as a condition for licensing Google Play store, and even paying them to bundle Google apps into the operating system in some instances.
The investigation, started by EU regulators in 2015, apparently indicates that Google has been using its Android dominance to milk advertising and other revenues, while restricting choices for European consumers.
Previously, EU had slapped $2.7 billion fine on Google in 2017 for unethically favoring its own shopping services over rivals on its search results. Adding the latest charge, Google potentially faces more than $7 billion in fines from the EU.
Google however, argues that Android has actually enhanced consumer choice and that providing Android software free of charge to manufacturers has helped lower phone prices and therefore increased online usage by consumers. The company intends to appeal the Commission’s ruling, as mentioned by a Google spokesperson.