INTERNATIONAL – The European Commission is set to fine Google a record €4.3 billion (R71.49 billion) today over its Android mobile operating system, a source close to the matter said.
The source said Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager would confirm the antitrust fine, which is nearly double the previous record €2.4bn fine which the US tech company received last year over its online shopping-search service.
The fine represents just more than two weeks of revenue for Google’s parent, Alphabet, and would scarcely dent its cash reserves of $102.9bn.
The fine, however, could add to a brewing trade war between Brussels and the Trump administration in Washington. Vestager’s boss, commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, is due to meet US President Donald Trump at the White House next Wednesday in an effort to avert threatened new tariffs on EU cars, amid Trump’s complaints over the US trade deficit.
Vestager’s announcement on Google is expected to include an order to halt anti-competitive practices in contractual deals with smartphone makers and telecoms providers.