The problem with being the big dog? Everyone wants to put you on a leash.
And as per documents obtained exclusively by Reuters on Saturday, the European Union is looking to put an expensive leash on Google. While we’ve known for a while now that the EU’s Commission plans to launch yet another antitrust case against Google (this one regarding Android), the charge sheet shows specifics of just how the government body plans on doling out punishment. And it’s no light tap on the wrist — instead, the document suggests that Google would not only be ordered to cease payments and discounts for mobile phone manufacturers who pre-install Google’s Play Store with Google Search, but would also have to pay fines that target the company’s highly valuable search ad revenue.
As Reuters reported, “The penalty could be based on revenue generated from AdWords clicks by European users, Google Search product queries, Play Store apps purchases, and AdMob’s in-app advertisements,” which could translate to quite a bit of dough coming out of Google’s pockets.
The EU insists that Google’s anti-competition practices have not improved since 2011, and as such, “The Commission intends to set the fine at a level which will be sufficient to ensure deterrence,” the charge sheet said.
While the Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso has not commented on the leaked document, Google issued a statement defending its practices. “We look forward to showing the European Commission that we’ve designed the Android model in a way that’s good for both competition and consumers, and supports innovation across the region,” the company said.
The internet giant faces another concurrent antitrust lawsuit from the Commission, this one regarding Google’s shopping service. According to the Commission, Google favors shopping results from its own service over that of rivals, a move that could also result in fines for the company.