Google Fine $5.04 billion by E.U – Android May no Longer Be Free Says Google

So yesterday, the European Commission had slapped the search giant with a record-breaking €4.3 billion ($5.04 billion) fine. The California-based company was found guilty of using its mobile OS to “cement its dominant position in general internet search.”

The EU’s ruling gives Google 90 days to change its practice or face even more severe penalties of up to 5% of its average daily revenue.


For the people left wondering how come Apple is allowed to highly restrict what is on their devices, the Commission explains that Apple doesn’t license its software to other manufacturers.

The conditions Google puts as part of the Android license agreement with phone makers is what the regulator considers illegal. More specifically:

  • Requiring manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and Chrome apps
  • Paying manufacturers to only have Google Search pre-installed
  • Not allowing manufacturers to sell phones with unapproved Android versions

Android May No Longer Be Free If The Decision Stand

In a statement, Google CEO Sundar Pichai suggested they may not be able to offer Android for free if the decision stands.

“So far, the Android business model has meant that we haven’t had to charge phone makers for our technology, or depend on a tightly-controlled distribution model,” said Pichai.

“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.”

“Phone makers don’t have to include our services; and they’re also free to pre-install competing apps alongside ours. This means that we earn revenue only if our apps are installed, and if people choose to use our apps instead of the rival apps,” said Pichai.

Some phone makers, such as Samsung, have developed their own web browsers, but are still forced to bundle Google Chrome on their products. If the EU ruling comes into force, these companies would be able to free to push their own browsers as the default option and also change the default search engine.

Chrome and Google search are already so popular and widely-used, that even if such a ruling comes into force, the vast majority of the billions of people who are using them on a daily basis will continue to do so in the future.


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21 thoughts on “Google Fine $5.04 billion by E.U – Android May no Longer Be Free Says Google”

  1. Hehehe, thus is huge o. Well since the government of many nations wants us to pay for everything, then we will be waiting to do so should the decision stand

  2. I have no issues with their first ans second conditions but the third (Not allowing manufacturers to sell phones with unapproved Android versions) in my opinion will do more harm than good.

    Why will EU wants manufacturers to sell phones with unapproved Android versions (except they are talking about custom roms like MIUI, XOS, HiOS and Oxygen OS).

    Else, allowing Samsung to create and continue managing its own version of Android while Xiaomi and Nokia do the same will be nothing short of bullshit (in my opinion).

    I have no problem with this point (Requiring manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and Chrome apps).

    But isn’t this point (Paying manufacturers to only have Google Search pre-installed) the manufacturer’s business? Hey, they generate income from here, so i don’t see why they won’t want to continue.

    Wasn’t it last year that Amazon and Apple remove Google as default search engines on their product? I believe the second point is the manufacturer’s business.

    You even makes it more simpler than the way BBC was reporting the cause of the Fine yesterday. The only valid point and illegal activities (according to some BBC reporters) is the first point.

    Now, i actually think this is more of retaliation against Trump new series of tariff on EU companies than Google’s illegal practices (in my opinion).

    • You don’t have a problem with point 1&2 but the EU do ?. They will sort Themselve out eventually and if they don’t, chrome and Google search is already so popular that people will continue to use them wether been forced down their phone or not.

  3. And that is why the UK want to leave the EU. Makes sense now.

    I think I should also just sue Google for just running on my phone. Looks like you can just sue for nothing. Google does not belong to any governing body. Is it just be or is there not a single company who has not been sued by another?

    Besides, where does that “fine” money go to? Surely not a charity fund.

  4. Seems everything is becoming clearer now…this issue have been on ground for a while now but I still believe they will come to terms to settle this

  5. use to use a phone that wasn’t Google enabled. I couldn’t download chrome or any other app from the playstore. hope it is reviewed.

  6. Well if Google wants to retaliate they can as well create different rules for their products in the EU zone and allow the rest of the world to continue as it is.

  7. The tech space is so competitive, if you lamp down on Google thereby making their products expensive to use. We’ll gladly look for alternatives.


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