EU hits Google with $5bn fine for breaking competition rules
A three-year investigation and a record five billion dollar fine, a steep penalty for Google accused by the European Union of abusing its power has it cornered an entire sector in the phone market.
Google has engaged in illegal practices to cement its dominant market position in Internet's search.
It must put an effective end to this conduct within 90 days or face penalty payments.
At the heart of the issue is Android, the tech giant's operating system for mobile phones used in more than 80 percent of the world's smartphones.
It is essential to Google's future revenues.
The European Commission found Google had blocked competition by forcing phone makers to pre-install services such as its search engine and map software as a condition of using its operation system.
It also payed phone manufacturers incentives if they installed Google search without rival services.
The case would seem to prove the point that there's no such thing as a free lunch.
When tech giants come bearing gifts and Google is finding out to its cost, it's having to concede.
This is already the case in countries such as China and Russia.
Now the French government has welcomed the decision to stop it from squeezing out any rivals.
Google will have to change their practices in terms of licensing of the vias in Android software and applications.
That in turn will have a considerable impact on their commercial policy.
Google has said it will appeal against the decision.
It may only be a fraction of its revenue, but the real challenge will be if the EU forces it to change its future behavior.