Google denies wrongdoing
Following an investigation that lasted several years, the EU’s (European Union) antitrust agency concluded that Alphabet’s Google (GOOGL) abused Android’s market dominance, harming competitors and consumers alike. Google denies any wrongdoing.
About a year ago, the EU’s antitrust agency hit Google with a record $2.8 billion fine for allegedly mistreating competitors in comparison shopping search results. The company is challenging the fine in appeals court. Google could face more antitrust fines in Europe. The company remains under investigation in relation to its search bar and advertising practices, while Yelp (YELP) has recently revived a complaint that could trigger another investigation and lead to more penalties against Google.
Europe could impose fines of up to 10% of global revenue
The EU’s antitrust agency is preparing to fine Google in the Android case in the coming weeks, according to a report by The Financial Times. Although the size of the fine is currently unclear, the commission is empowered to impose a fine of up to 10% of a company’s global revenue. Google parent company Alphabet generated $110.9 billion in revenue last year. Therefore, Google could face up to $11.0 billion in fines in the Android case, if the EU chooses to impose the maximum penalty.
Most of the world’s smartphones run on Android
Android operating systems power ~80% of the world’s smartphones, according to StatCounter. Phone makers such as Samsung (SSNLF), Xiaomi, BlackBerry (BB), and Nokia (NOK) base their flagship smartphones on Android. Google’s own smartphones under the Pixel brand also run Android.
Apple and Microsoft (MSFT) are other providers of mobile operating systems that compete with Android. Microsoft’s Windows powered ~1.0% of smartphones globally at the end of May.