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EU: Android findings likely to be determined July 18

 |  July 3, 2018

In a report based on information from sources familiar with the matter, Bloomberg Technology posits that the EU announcement on the results of the investigation into Google’s Android operating system and the fine expected thereof are likely to be announced on or around July 18.

The EU says Google’s contracts with device manufacturers may unfairly force a bundle of Google services — search, maps, web browser and email — to be loaded on phones using the Android operating system. Android runs on 77 percent of the world’s smartphones, according to web traffic analysis firm StatCounter. The EU’s case also targets deals with phone makers and telecoms operators that pay them for placing Google Search on devices.

The decision could come as soon as July 18, judging by the “gaping hole” in the European Commission’s calendar the week after US President Donald Trump visits Brussels, reported Bloomberg.

The size of the fine Is still uncertain, after last year’s record €2.4 billion (US$2.8 billion) fine. However, the most enduring impact could be a requirement that Google renegotiate and replace existing contracts with cellphone manufacturers, opening the way for competing apps to be preinstalled, and thus reducing its hold on mobile ads.

“Consumers are basically barred from competition in the mobile search market,” said Agustin Reyna of the EU consumer organization BEUC in Brussels. “Because companies who try to enter markets where Google is dominant would find it very difficult to compete as they would not be able to match the amount of data Google holds.”

Google is expected to challenge any EU finding against Android at the EU courts. It may ask to suspend an EU order on Android until the appeals process is complete, which could take years, according to one of the people cited by Bloomberg.

Full Content: Bloomberg

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