Another week, another antitrust case.
Google has found itself facing a second record fine from European regulators in another antitrust case, in as many weeks, according to a report by Reuters.
As the dust still settles over the EU’s 2.4 billion Euro fine against Google’s comparison search practices, last week, Google’s antitrust issues in the region may be far from over.
With its initial findings now concluded, EU officials are now reportedly looking for a second opinion on the case, which will examine Google’s dominance in mobile technology with its Android operating system. The Commission has formed a panel of experts known as “a devil’s advocate” group to examine its conclusions.
Last Season in Google vs the EU
In April last year, the EU charged Google of abusing its dominant Android mobile operating system to stifle competition. The accusation followed a complaint by US lobby group FairSearch, ad-blocking and privacy firm Disconnect Inc, Portuguese apps store Aptoide and Russia’s Yandex.
Should the Devil’s advocate group agree with the EU’s initial conclusion, a decision against Alphabet’s Google by the end of the year could result in a fine even greater than that levied in June.
The EU’s charge sheet issued to Google in April last year claims that the US tech company’s anti-competitive practices began in January 2011. It said tactics included requiring smart phone manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and Google Browser, and barring manufacturers from using rival versions of Android.
Largest EU fine, like, ever.
Last month’s record fine was the EU regulator’s largest penalty to date against a company, accused of distorting the market, according to the European Union’s official press statement on the Google fine. “What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules,” declared Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s Competition Commissioner. “It has denied other companies the chance to compete on their merits and to innovate, and most importantly it has denied European consumers the benefits of competition, genuine choice and innovation.”
It’s unclear at the moment what the EU will rule in the new case. But in mid-April, Google lost a similar case in Russia, where it was forced to open Android access to rival search engines and also pay almost $8 million in fines.