EU regulators have fined Google a record-breaking $5 billion for violating anti-trust laws.
According to the EU Commission, Google has abused its Android market penetration across three major areas. These include integrating its search engine and Chrome apps into the OS. Google also allegedly blocked phone manufacturers from creating devices that run split versions of Android. It also made payments to them and also mobile network operators to integrate Google search app on handsets.
The EU Commission now wants to end this illegal conduct. Google has been asked to take necessary measures within 90 days of the decision and stop forcing manufacturers to preinstall Chrome and Google search feature. This was used to offer the Google Play Store on various devices. Additionally, it will also have to stop asking phone manufacturers from using split versions of Android, as Google failed to provide any evidence that such versions fall prey to technical failures to support apps.
When it comes to Google illegally paying phone manufacturers and network operators to bundle Google products, EU looked into this issue in 2014. Since then such illegal payments have been ceased.
Google is now preparing to appeal the EU Commission’s decision and has warned that this may affect the free business model of Android in the future. Google believes that Android has opened doors for more choice and built a vibrant ecosystem with rapid innovation which has been possible with lower prices.