GOOGLE HAS confirmed that it will appeal against the €4.3bn fine bestowed upon it by the European Union.
EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager ruled that the mega-corp had "denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete" at three levels - the enforced installation of Chrome as a browser, without which Google Play Store would not function, paying sweetners to mobile networks to offer its search exclusively, and prevented those companies from using a rival build of Android, of the type that Microsoft seems intent on.
Google has been told that until it makes changes to the operating system, it will be charged up to five per cent of its daily global revenue until it complies. The court papers make no reference to having this measure frozen and so, we assume it will continue throughout this case which is inevitably going to get messy and will take years.
The EU has said that it will be looking whether to also include evidence that the company is trying to circumvent its other ruling about Google Shopping, which was also found to be non-competitive.
A story on Sky News suggests that Google has simply asked ad agencies to set up fake companies to sell goods, and advertise in the spaces previously occupied exclusively by Google, thus giving an impression of competition.
Yet another ongoing action is questioning whether Google banned potential conflicts of interest (ie the competition) from its search bars and adverts on third-party sites. Ms Vestager described any such action as "a trojan horse" implying that the EU would come down harshly if such a workaround was in use.
It is not known how the EU will respond to Google's appeal, nor how long it will take for the case to be heard. As such there are billions of Euros likely to be stuck in escrow for years to come. μ
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