Trump slams EU over $6.87 billion fine on Google

WASHINGTON-President Donald Trump said on Thursday that the European Union's $5 billion antitrust fine on Alphabet Inc.'s Google is evidence that the bloc has "taken advantage of the USA", and suggested that change is on the way.

Google also prevented manufacturers from selling smartphones that run on rival operating systems based on the Android open source code, it said.

"Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine".

Under EU rules Google could have been fined up to 10 percent of parent company Alphabet's annual revenue, which hit $110.9 billion in 2017. The European Union started a flame war when it fined the USA firm $5 billion for monopoly violations.

It is likely to stoke tensions between Europe and the US, which regulates the tech industry with a lighter hand and has complained that the European Union is singling out American companies for punishment.

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of CT tweeted that the fine should "be a wake-up call" to the Federal Trade Commission and "should lead United States enforcers to protect consumers".

In the end, the Commission found that Google violated European Union antitrust laws and has given the company 90 days to clean up its act.

Google also reportedly forces smartphone makers to integrate its own apps to their phones, should they wish to offer the Google Play Store on them.

Google is an ambitious company to say the least, and the individual teams that work on what's coming down the pipe are just as focused on building new and exciting products.

Margrethe Vestager, the Competition Commissioner for the European Union, stated the huge fine would force Google to change its ways, increasing the chances of competition search apps and browsers to be downloaded.

Android has "created more choice for everyone, not less", Google CEO Sundar Pichai tweeted.

The EU fined Google for what it calls "illegal monopoly practices" with its Android phone software as well as its Google search app and chrome browser.

"If phone makers and mobile network operators couldn't include our apps on their wide range of devices, it would upset the balance of the Android ecosystem".

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

  • Wendy Palmer