Giant search engine Google is set to be fined 4.3 billion Euros (Ksh502 billion) by the European Commission over its Android operating System.
According to the BBC, the European Commission’s action followed a three year probe into claims the firm’s mobile device strategy had unfairly strengthened its dominance of search.
Google was accused of requiring Android handset and tablet manufacturers to set its search engine as the default and pre-install the Chrome browser before allowing them to offer access to its Play app store
The search engine was also accused of preventing manufacturers from selling mobile devices powered by rival operating systems based on Android’s open source code.
The complains were raised by Fairsearch – a trade group that originally included Microsoft, Nokia and Oracle – who accused Google of giving device manufacturers and mobile networks financial incentives to provide its own search service as the sole pre-installed option
If implemented, it will be the largest fine imposed by the regulator against a single firm.
Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager previously fined Google 2.4 billionn euros (Ksh280 billion) over a separate probe into its shopping comparison service – a ruling Google is in the process of appealing against.
In addition, her team has a third investigation underway into the firm’s advert-placing business AdSense. Details about the probe are yet to be released.
In 2017, Android accounted for more than 80 percent of all smartphone sales to end users worldwide. Android is forecast to maintain its leadership in the market, projected to account for about 85 percent of all smartphones shipments worldwide in 2020.
Currently, Google is estimated to mint Ksh11 trillion (110 billion USD) annually.
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