The European Commission (EC) has charged Google with violating antitrust laws in the way it handles shopping searches, and the regulators announced that they are investigating Android. If Google is found guilty of the charges, it faces fines of $6.4 billion, and it could be forced to change its business practices.
About Android, the EC said, “The Commission will assess if, by entering into anticompetitive agreements and/or by abusing a possible dominant position, Google has illegally hindered the development and market access of rival mobile operating systems, mobile communication applications and services in the European Economic Area.”
In an internal memo, Google said that it believes it has a “very strong case.” It added, “Consumers decide which apps they use and download on Android devices. Apps that compete directly with Google such as Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft Office, and Expedia are easily available to Android users; and many of these apps come pre-loaded onto Android devices. Google apps, like Search, Maps, Gmail, and Google Play, are also available out of the box on many handsets. The recent Samsung S6 is a great example of this – there are pre-installed Facebook, Microsoft, and Google apps.”