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EU Threatening Google With Fine Over Mobile Practices: Report

Google Android
Photo Credit: JD Hancock via flickr

The European Union will slap Google with a fine if the tech titan continues to dole out financial incentives to Smartphone makers that pre-install Google apps on their devices.

According to a report from Reuters, a document from the European Commission revealed  the regulator is siding with complainants, saying Google is indeed using its Android operating system to dominate the mobile marketplace.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, has put together an official statement of objections — which has not yet been made public — to demand Google do two things: cease financial compensation to mobile phone manufacturers that pre-install Google’s Play Store with Google Search and stop forcing smartphone makers to pre-install its proprietary apps.

The document says Google “cannot punish or threaten” companies that ignore its conditions.

If Google does not comply with both conditions, the European Commission will issue a fine.

“The Commission intends to set the fine at a level which will be sufficient to ensure deterrence,” reads the document obtained by Reuters.

Although the Commission has declined to comment, Google told Reuters it looks “forward to showing the European Commission that we’ve designed the Android model in a way that’s good for both competition and consumers, and supports innovation across the region.”

The European Commission launched an informal investigation into how the technology giant is using its Android operating system back in 2013 after a joint complaint was lodged with the EU by FairSearch, a group of 17 technology and search companies that includes Microsoft, Expedia, Oracle and Nokia.

The Commission then launched a formal anti-trust probe into Google’s conduct with mobile operating systems, apps and services last April.

This is not the first fine the European Commission has levied against Google. It slapped the tech firm this spring with a $3.4-billion fine for the tech firm’s search practices. The record fine from the European Commission was announced after a six-year investigation into the tech firm’s search practices.

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Jennifer Cowan

Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.