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Could Android Agreements Land Google in Trouble?

Google might face an even heftier fine for this as compared to last year.

Updated:July 17, 2018, 5:01 PM IST
Could Android Agreements Land Google in Trouble?
(Representative image: AP)
A year after Google was hauled up by the European Union for a fine of 2.4 Billion Euros, the tech giant might have landed in trouble again with the same union, but for a different reason this time. This time, it is because of the Android operating system.

What is the lawsuit for?
Google is facing allegations for forcing the smartphone manufacturers with "exclusivity agreements" that require them to install Google's own web browser 'Chrome' as well as its search engine if they plan to use the Google Play Store. The agreements, however, only come after Google offers its Android platform to the manufacturers for free.

The complaints against the firm are being investigated by European Commission's competition chief Margrethe Vestage. As per the complaints, the exclusivity harms the rival search engines and browsers, thus affecting their business for the 74 percent share of the European smartphone market captured by Android OS.

European Union is known for regulating the competition in the European market, thus not letting any single player dominate the business at any time. To recall, Google faced the massive fine in 2017 for pushing its own shopping advertisements on its search engine, essentially downranking the price comparison websites and affecting their revenue. This time, however, the company has been facing legal troubles for pushing its own apps on its widely accepted mobile operating system Android.

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Google's Response
Google claims that the exclusivity agreements help it keep its operating system to be free for the manufacturers. This is considered to be the company's major plus over its rival Apple, in the smartphone domain.

The Penalty?
If the case turns against the California-based tech giant, EU could fine Google to up to 10 percent of its parent company Alphabet's annual turnover, that equates to a humongous amount of around 9.5 Billion Euros. The decision is expected to come anytime in the next couple of days. In addition to the fine, Google may have to stop its exclusivity agreements, essentially upsetting its business models in the European region.

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| Edited by: Sarthak Dogra
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