The European Union is set to hit Google with the largest fine in history over its Android operating system practices. The EU has been working on the case against Google for quite some time and judgment was looming earlier this week, but there was no word on just how large of a fine Google might face. The EU antitrust case against Google has been building for over a year now. A report has surfaced today that claims that the fine against Google will be 4.3 billion euros or about $5 billion.
Such a massive fine would most certainly set a record for antitrust penalties according to a person familiar with the decision the EU is set to hand down. After the fine is levied against Google, the long-running probe into contracts with smartphone makers and mobile carriers would come to an end. EU Commissioners are set to discuss the case this morning per an online agenda; presumably, the massive fine will become official at that time.
The issue that the European Commission has with Google's practices boils down to how it required smartphone makers to pre-install Google Search and Google Chrome to gain access to other Google apps. Google specifically banned these partners from using rival versions of Android on their devices.
Google also forces device makers to integrate its own apps if they want to offer the Google Play Store on their devices and they have to make Google Search the default search service. Despite the looming fine, Google has continued business as usual and while the fine is massive at $5 billion that amount of money is a drop in the bucket for the search giant. Presumably, the ruling will also come with a measure to force Google to end its anticompetitive practices.
This isn't the first massive fine that the EU has levied against Google, it was hit with a 2.4 billion euro fine after an investigation into its shopping service.