EU antitrust regulators threaten to fine Google for violating antitrust regulations

EU antitrust regulators threaten to fine Google for violating antitrust regulations

EU antitrust regulators threaten to fine Google for violating antitrust regulations

Alphabet's Google could face a steep fine in the European Union (EU) for violation of antitrust regulations. The violation results from Google's apparent practice to force rivals manufacturing Android-powered smartphones to preinstall proprietary Google apps - like Gmail, Google+ and others - on their devices.

In particular, EU antitrust regulators want Google to stop offering payments or discounts to rival smartphone manufactures - including Samsung, LG, HTC, and Sony, among others - for preloading their devices with Google Search and the Google Play Store.

In April this year, the European Commission (EC) had sent a document to Google, drawing attention to the fact that the company was using its dominance in the smartphone market with its Android OS to force out its rivals. A copy of the 150-page document was sent to complainants, for seeking feedback, by EU antitrust regulators last week.

In the document, the EU antitrust regulators have warned Google that a hefty fine might be imposed on the company for offering financial incentives to rival smartphone manufacturers to have its products installed on their devices.

With Google having been involved in the allegedly anti-competitive practices since January 2011, the EC said - about the potential fine faced by the company - in a statement released to Reuters: "The Commission intends to set the fine at a level which will be sufficient to ensure deterrence."