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Google have been hit with a record breaking fine of $5bn (£3.9bn) by EU regulators for breaking anti-trust laws.
Margrethe Vestager the European Commissioner for Competition tweeted:
‘Fine of €4,34 bn to @Google for 3 types of illegal restrictions on the use of Android. In this way it has cemented the dominance of its search engine. Denying rivals a chance to innovate and compete on the merits. It’s illegal under EU anti-trust rules. @Google now has to stop it.’
Despite dwarfing the previous year’s then record breaking $2.7 bn fine whereby Google had been found to be ‘abusing its dominant market position and systematically favouring it own shopping comparison service, Google has once again shrugged off the hit in the face of sky high profits of its own.
The fine served this July (2018) is once against for violating anti-trust laws. This time by monopolising the search engine choice by preinstalling Google onto all Android devices before shipment ensuring that all mobile internet traffic on these devices almost certainly goes via the Google search engine.
The EU has the power to fine the company up to 10% of its annual revenue which would amount to around $9bn, although falling short of this figure, the EU have certainly made its unhappiness in the tech giant be known.
The EU have stated that Google have 90 days to bring itself into line with anti-trust laws
In response to this and as per the previous fine, Google has made it public that they will be once again be appealing the decision, claiming that users can remove the Google search engine preset in less than 30 seconds and that Android has ‘created more choice for everyone, not less.’ The appeal process is likely to significantly delay any compliance as requested by the EU by months if not years as the appeal process rumbles on.
The fines certainly haven’t seen any drop of confidence despite the fall in profits with shareholder value surging 6% just hours after the fine was announced.