Google to Fight 2018 EU Antitrust Finding

Posted on July 12, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Android with 4 Comments

A Reuters report says that Google will try to overturn a 2018 EU antitrust ruling against Android this September. That ruling included a $5.15 billion fine.

In 2018, the European Commission (EC) found Google guilty of abusing its monopoly powers and forced it to implement Search and Browser choice screens when EU-based customers first sign-in to Android. These screens allow customers to choose non-Google options for both functions, and Google basically gamed the system and created a lottery system by which third parties would need to pay them to appear on the lists. It also raised the price of Android licenses in the EU.

According to Reuters, Google now intends to overturn the EC ruling and the resulting fine during a five-day hearing in September at the General Court in Luxembourg. It claims, too, that the search giant has the backing of various industry lobbies as well as device makers like Finland-based HMD, which sells Nokia-branded handsets, and software makers like Opera, which is based in Norway.

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Comments (4)

4 responses to “Google to Fight 2018 EU Antitrust Finding”

  1. mikegalos

    Note also that Google's "choice" screen doesn't have the option of NOT installing the Google choices. They are there regardless and you get to choose an extra set of options and set defaults.

    • wright_is

      Yes. The first thing I do, when setting up my Android phones is to disable Chrome, Google Search, Maps, Assistant and all the other services.

      Although I prefer Android over iOS, I am seriously thinking of going back to an iPhone next time (my last one was a 3GS).

  2. elias.ohm

    No details here. In general, certainly, as Andoid is an operating system and a device in technical language (so not the human kind derived type of devices meant which are certainly strictly OEM handled at the base) where Android is installed on both by definition needs to be open in terms of allowing software and settings to be modified as wanted without to need to resort to non-official complex methods to unlock something to allow such actions, often in past seen (an hardware device manufacturer issue) even mitigatet from version to version which makes it worse - or possibly the fact that it is only possibly with expensive service box adaptors or such - not avail for buy once use everywhere manner or buy for reasonable amount as add-on part from device manufactiurer.

    But third-party is much to much crap on the market from consumers customers (which is common meaning of the word) which is by intent not on official lists if not integrated into big business rules of official companies of Content Providers (OEM and such). So if you buy an google device, there can be a google browser preinstalled (worse are the spam and illicit advertising apps the device manufacturers bundle into their image, which is much more an issue as even not uninstallable and not related to basic features of the device and the conductor of the operating system or the hardware-device in terms being basic operating system or hardware management or features tools), a browser can be added and set as default.

    And e legit business also can exchange some contractual fees if some agreement is made to exchange some software or hardware parts to use or offer it for each others customers.

  3. bkkcanuck

    Much more likely to run into anti-trust issues (under current law) when you are allowing other vendors to install software from another party on the devices -- as you are more likely be found guilty of collusion or coercive behaviour with regards to mandated tying of one product with another (a vendor who sells only their own proprietary platform on their own devices - won't have the same issues with 'tied' sales as there is only one vendor to define what is and what is not part of that product.