European Union has 'truly taken advantage': Trump on Google antitrust fine

Еврокомиссия оштрафовала Google на $5 миллиардов

Google said that instead of restricting competition, it did the opposite.

The EU's fine is the biggest ever imposed on a company for anticompetitive behavior.

Vestager dismissed Google's argument that it had competition from Apple, saying iPhones were not a sufficient check on Google's dominance because they cost more and require users to exert significant effort to adopt.

Google has already said it will appeal the fine.

The EU said Wednesday that Google broke the rules when it required mobile phone producers to pre-install the Google Search and browser apps if they wanted to use Google's app store.

The EU took issue with Google's payments to wireless carriers and phone makers to exclusively pre-install the Google Search app.

Announced at 1pm in Brussels by the EU's Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, she declared that Google must "put an effective end to this conduct in 90 days" or face penalties.

The fine, which had been widely expected this week, is 4.34 billion euros, or about $5 billion. The 4.34 billion euro (US$5 billion) fine is almost double the previous penalty that the company was ordered to pay past year, but it represents a little more than two weeks of revenue for its parent company, Alphabet Inc.

The latest fine is well within Google's means.

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That figure represented a doubling in global revenue in only four years.

Android is an open-source operating system that Google lets cellphone makers use for free. Apple is more effective at keeping competitors out: Its Safari browser holds nearly the same market share as its iOS operating system.

Android, which runs about 80 percent of the world's smartphones according to market research firm Strategy Analytics, is the most important of a trio of antitrust cases against Google.

Ms Vestager acknowledged that Google's version of Android does not prevent device owners downloading alternative web browsers or using other search engines.

Google forcefully objects to the ruling, calling it a rejection of Android's entire business model.

The experience of Microsoft, which was forced by the European Union to give users a choice of browsers on Windows computers (it was fined twice for not doing so) shows that letting people decide for themselves creates a level playing field for competition.

In other words, dominance is fine, but monopolies "harm consumers". It has changed the lives of millions of Europeans. European governments tend to want to exert more control than the U.S.

The decision, which followed a 3-year EU investigation, comes as fears of a transatlantic trade war mount because of President Donald Trump's decision to impose tariffs on European steel and aluminum exports. The U.S. imposed tariffs on European Union steel and aluminum this year, and the European Union responded with duties on American goods. Still, some US politicians welcomed it. "We intend to appeal", he said in a blog post.

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