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News Google hit with £3.78 billion EC fine

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by bit-tech, 19 Jul 2018.

  1. bit-tech

    bit-tech Supreme Overlord Staff Administrator

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  2. Chicken76

    Chicken76 Member

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    So Google is fined 4.3 Bil. euros for:
    • mandating Chrome and Search to be installed
    • paying to have their search app preinstalled
    • making their marketplace and services exclusive to their OS
    OK, so how is #1 that bad? Mandating a couple of apps (that do not exclude other competing apps from being installed by users) for access to support has never been seen before in this industry, right?
    As for #2, has the EC never heard of paid advertising? You pay to have your app preinstalled. We've never seen this practice before, right?
    #3 - you want access to our store? Install the OS we provide you. How didn't Apple and Microsoft think of doing this on their mobile platforms? Oh wait!...

    Meanwhile there have been what, 5 years? from the last fine Microsoft received in Europe, which was about 1/10th of what Google gets now. And in all this time Microsoft has not started playing fair, quite the contrary. Take any of the criticism Google gets now and compare to what Apple and Microsoft are doing and you'll find they are many, many times worse.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Google shouldn't loosen up a bit the whole Android and Google Services marriage, but 4.3 Bil Euros?! Come on! And all this time, every government in the EU space buys licenses from Microsoft by the train-load with our tax money, because of their inability to get somebody to bundle up some free software and standardize it across the Union. The most used apps on those computers are Solitaire, Minesweeper, Hearts and Calculator. :grr: Come on, even North Korea has an official Linux Distro to be used on all state-owned computers!
     
  3. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    I disagree with your summarisation of the above points, however...
    this one is worse, as you've completely got the wrong end of the Commission's complaint.

    The problem isn't that Google makes the Play Store only available on what used to be called Android With Google, as you've written here, at all. The problem is as follows:

    Manufacturer licenses Android With Google, complete with Play Store, releases £400 phone. All good.
    Manufacturer wants to go after the cheaper end of the market.
    Manufacturer loads Android Open Source Project, without Play Store, onto cheaper hardware, releases £50 phone.
    Google immediately revokes Manufacturer's licence to Android With Google, forces withdrawal of £400 phone from sale.

    The Commission isn't saying Google stops people from installing Google Play on non-Android With Google handsets; the Commission is saying, as reflected in the article, that if you've made a handset with Google Play on it you can never release a handset using any Android variant other than Android With Google, even if you don't want Google Play on that handset.

    Now do you see the problem?
     
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  4. lacuna

    lacuna Member

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    It's almost as if Google are trying to make money. Selfish arses!

    Presumably a manufacturer using Android with Google is not prevented from using an alternative, non-android OS for their peasant spec phone? If that's the case then I don't see the issue; it's just business.
     
    Last edited: 19 Jul 2018
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  5. Chicken76

    Chicken76 Member

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    Well, I used some poetic license there and spun things a little bit, to make a point. Sorry the humor didn't make it through. :grin:

    Now that you put it that way, I do see the problem. That practice should stop. Google should be fined for that. But how is it fair to Google to receive such a big fine, while other, worse, recidivist players out there get much smaller ones? And you do know there are worse kids 'round the block. Don't tell me this is the worst business practice you've seen in this industry. Have there been bigger fines in Europe for tech companies?
     
  6. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    That's not how it works. The "no more GApps for you" clause (i.e. membership of the Open Handset Alliance) kicked in if the OEM took AOSP, forked it, then didn't propagate the changes back to AOSP. That's the rub, and what resulted in the split for Amazon's Fire devices: Amazon refused to upload the changes back to AOSP, so were cut off from GApps (or rather their OEM, Quanta Computer, who do not make any Android devices). If you release a device using straight AOSP, or modified AOSP but propagate your source changes back, then everything is fine for your other GApp devices.
     
  7. Anfield

    Anfield Well-Known Member

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    The way I understand it it is effectively multiple "small" fines rolled into one, so it isn't a case of google having been singled out for a "big" fine but rather google supposedly having done wrong on many fronts.
     
  8. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Because the fine is based on revenue earned through misdeeds. Look at ICO: pre-GDPR, it could impose a £500K maximum fine. That's enough to put a small to mid-size company out of business, but for Google or Apple it's a drop in the ocean. Thus, fines are now based on how much revenue the company generated in the region under the influence of the illegal acts: for Google that's all the billions, for Tiny Firm LLC that's a couple of grand.

    As Anfield says, it's also not "you did one thing wrong, here's a massive fine" but "you've done lots of things wrong, here are lots of fines which add up to a massive fine."
     
  9. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    Google probably encourage OEM to use their peasant-spec OS [Android Go] for their peasent-spec phone.
     
  10. Chicken76

    Chicken76 Member

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    I see. Well, I'm waiting, bated breath and all, for those 11-figure fines for some repeat offenders. You know who they are. Come on European Commission, you can do it!
     
  11. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    I mean, there are plenty of ongoing cases to watch. It's not like the Commission woke up one day and said "d'you know, we should investigate Google and only Google."
     
  12. Zak33

    Zak33 Staff Staff Administrator

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    I must ask - where does the fine go? Who gets it?

    Sepp Blatter? Vladmir Putin? Gareth Halfacre? does it go to a charity? Or does the EU zone benefit with cheap lunches out for the Bruxels-massive?
     
  13. Zak33

    Zak33 Staff Staff Administrator

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    and when do they have to pay? Are they allowed to pay installements for a few years? Or must it be pain in 89 days time via Paypal ?
     
  14. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    It'd be nice, but I'd insist they spell my name right on the cheque.

    To answer your question, all fines levied by the European Commission go into the European Union central budget - which means a reduction in Member State contributions. In other words, you're getting a little bit of the fine yourself - in the form of a reduced tax load from your government, thanks to a reduced contribution load from the EU, from a cash deposit in the EU central budget.
     
  15. Zak33

    Zak33 Staff Staff Administrator

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    ok, you can have the extra e now.

    I held it as a gaurantor to getting an answer.
     
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  16. Chicken76

    Chicken76 Member

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    Sorry Gareth for yesterday's rants, I was in a terrible mood.
     
  17. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    No apology necessary - happens to the best of us! (And by "best of us," I mean "me.")
     
  18. Chicken76

    Chicken76 Member

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    /me tips hat
     
  19. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    ...lets see how much the fine is after appeal...

    ...and see how much they actually end up paying.
     
  20. Corky42

    Corky42 What did walle eat for breakfast?

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    It's sort of funny that Trump's hit out at this fine and a Google image search for "idiot" has Trump all over it. :D

    Does that say more about Trump or Google, i can't decide.
     
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