At a staggering price of $5 billion, Google had been fined by the European Commission for violating the European Union’s antitrust rules, thus being the biggest fine ever given to a single company in an anti-trust case, and in the process set a new world record! Excerpts say the reason behind this is the fact that Google had distorted internet search results in favour of its own shopping channel.
Announced on Tuesday (16 October, 2018) by the European Commission lawsuit. Smartphone manufacturers are forced to pre-install the firms search engine and Chrome Web browser on Android phones. As a result Google finds its future in deep waters. The company’s hold on the search and browser market takes a fierce toll. Where will Google head with this atrocity at hand?
Smartphone partners – LG, Motorola and Sony, to name a few, could also end up facing the same issue as Google. Over the years Google had bounded the operating parameters of its partners into its domain. If they wanted to include Google’s apps and services at all, they effectively had to include those apps and services on every consumer that they made. Also, most of the apps available to Android users on Google Play Store rely on Google to function effectively. A tedious alternative would be that device makers would have to rely on an alternative app store and convince developers to distribute their apps on it.
The European Commission says, “but companies aren’t supposed to abuse their powerful market position by restricting competition”. The problem being that more than 75% of devices run on Android in Europe.
Forks – A potential disaster
Another blow to Google’s market: The piracy of its source codes shared online. Because of this, third-parties modify and create new smart devices running on Android not sanctioned by Google. Amazon’s Fire devices, for example, run a “fork” of Android. In a blog post, Google CEO Sundar Pichai says, “Because Google makes the Android platform available for free, the company only makes money off the phones if Google apps are installed and used.”
Aftermath: European Union’s Antitrust Rules Violation
The question lies, will this new change be worth it? Is it a good idea for Google to step down from its fame as a “tech giant”? Some independent third parties could start up their own service that becomes the de facto Android app distributor. Those stores could offer better terms for developers too. This is, for now, limited to Europe only. Fearing worldwide seizure, Google must be very careful in making decisions hereon.