Pichai responds to European Union fine, hints Google might start charging for Android

The EU has fined Google a record €4.3bn over Android antitrust

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday criticized the European Union over a record US$5 billion fine EU antitrust regulators imposed on Google, saying the bloc was taking advantage of the United States.

"Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine", Vestager said in a statement. Google will account for a third of all global mobile ads in 2018, according to research firm eMarketer, giving the company around $40 billion in sales outside the U.S. Google risks losing that traction if it is forced to surrender its real estate on millions of Android phones.

It is likely to stoke tensions between Europe and the USA, which regulates the tech industry with a lighter hand and has complained that the European Union is singling out American companies for punishment. It's illegal under European Union antitrust rules.

Google later said it is planning to file an appeal against the decision, arguing that around 40 apps from multiple developers are pre-installed on typical smart devices, not just by Google, and the Commission ruled out competition between Android and iOS operating systems.

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of CT tweeted that the fine should "be a wake-up call" to the Federal Trade Commission and "should lead U.S. enforcers to protect consumers".

Sharif loyalists arrested as former PM returns to appeal conviction
According to media reports, dozens of security officials entered the plane after it landed and asked other passengers to leave. Reuters reported that clashes had broke out between pro-Sharif protesters and police who had been deployed in their thousands.

Vestager said Google had shut out rivals by forcing major phone makers including South Korea's Samsung and China's Huawei to pre-install its search engine and Google Chrome browser, thereby freezing out rivals.

It it fails to overturn it, the company will have 90 days to change its practices or risk facing an even larger fine. It's still early to tell how the Internet search giant will respond to the ruling, but many observers have been quick to point out that Sundar Pichai's memo contains what could be constituted as "warning shots" regarding the openness of Android.

Two former antitrust enforcers said it was unusual but not unheard of for officials to comment on decisions by enforcers in other jurisdictions.

Google provides Android free to smartphone manufacturers and generates most of its revenue from selling advertisements that appear along with search results.

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