Stuart Breckenridge

European Commission Fines Google €4.34bn

The European Commission’s ruling on Google’s antitrust behaviour with regards to Android (via The Guardian):

Google has prevented device manufacturers from using any alternative version of Android that was not approved by Google (Android forks).

In order to be able to pre-install on their devices Google’s proprietary apps, including the Play Store and Google Search, manufacturers had to commit not to develop or sell even a single device running on an Android fork.

The Commission found that this conduct was abusive as of 2011, which is the date Google became dominant in the market for app stores for the Android mobile operating system.

The fine, €4.34bn, is sizeable1. What interests me the most, however, is the impact this will have on the Android ecosystem. If bigger handset manufacturers create multiple forks of Android it’ll fragment the ecosystem even more than it is now. That wouldn’t necessarily be a good thing for consumers.

  1. It’s the largest fine ever imposed! ↩︎