The Telegraph reports that the EU is expected to hand down a massive fine to Google Tuesday or Wednesday this week to punish the company for abusing its Android monopoly to strengthen its search empire, benefitting the company to the tune of more than $20 billion.
Last year the EU fined Google $2.7 billion for its abuse of its search dominance to push its comparison shopping service. The European Commission is empowered to fine Google up to 10% of its annual turn-over, or around $11 billion, and the new fine is expected to eclipse that sum.
Besides the fine, the EU is expected to ask Google to suggest remedies to correct the situation, which uses agreements with OEMs to reduce access by rivals to the powerful default positions in the Android operating system.
Google may be asked to:
- Stop paying financial incentives to smartphone makers to pre-install Google Search exclusively on their devices
- Stop forcing smartphone makers to pre-install its proprietary apps if this restricts their ability to use competing operating systems based on Android.
- Google “cannot punish or threaten” companies for not complying with its conditions.
Google insists their policies are important to keep the Android ecosystem consistent and help Android OEMs compete against Apple.
With Microsoft however increasingly building their platform on Android, the ability to offer competing services without losing access to the Google Play Store, for example, would be an ideal solution, allowing Microsoft for example to partner with OEMs such as Samsung to replace the Google Search bar with Bing and Google Mail with Outlook.
If forced to unbundle their services from their apps, for example, Microsoft could also ship an Android phone with the Google Play Store, but with Edge and Launcher set as the default applications on the device.