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Google will 'ride out' EU fine

BBC Radio 5 live

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This week, the F, A and G from the FAANG acronym are reporting results - namely Facebook, Amazon and Alphabet’s Google.

Monique Wong, senior portfolio manager at Coutts, says: "Earnings season has been good and the technology sector is doing very well. It is supported by the fact that earnings in those companies are good - they're up 20-25% year on year."

She says: "I think we'll see that even in companies like Google where we have the EU fine.

"What we'll see in terms of their business is the core numbers are going to be strong in their search engine, in YouTube where they have over 190 million users, their cloud service is gaining market share. So sales growth there is going to be in excess of 20%."

Google's Android woes

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

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Yesterday the European Commission fined Google €4.3bn over Android which the search giant said it was going to appeal.

Kathleen Brooks, research director at Capital Index, says Google has 90 days to overhaul the Android operating system, and the firm "definitely don't want to do that".

"If they don't they could end up being fined 5% [of Google owner Alphabet's] daily revenue... that's on top of the €4.3bn - it's huge."

That is why they have applied to the European Court of Justice to intervene to delay the ruling, she says.

BBC Minute: On Google's $5bn fine

The EU ruled that Google broke laws designed to protect competition
Google has been hit with a record $5 billion fine by the European Union – for anti-competitive practices. The company was found to have forced mobile phone and tablet makers whose products run the Android operating system to use Google as their default search engine – or be denied access to Google’s Play Store. 

Google was also found to have paid device manufacturers and mobile phone networks to offer its search engine as the only pre-installed option.

The BBC's technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones tell us that despite the ruling, most Android users probably won't notice any difference.

(Photo: Google was found to have paid phone manufacturers to offer its search engine as the only pre-installed option, Credit: Murat Kaynak/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Google committed a very serious offence says Vestager
The EU's competition chef explains why she believes Google deserves a record-sized fine over Android.

'It's abusing its dominance for its own good'

BBC Business Live

Rory Cellan-Jones on BBC

More on the European Commission, which will make a decision today on whether it will fine Google over competition concerns.

"This is all about the control Google exerts over its Android operating system," BBC's technology correspondent Rorry Cellan-Jones tells BBC Business Live.

While Google originally released Android as open source, and didn't mind how it was used, it has gradually clamped down and begun imposing rules that force device manufacturers to install lots of Google apps if they want to use its search function and operating system, instead of alternative apps, he adds.

"The central allegation is that it's incredibly dominant...and it's abusing that dominance for its own good."

If the EC decides to fine Google, it is likely that the penalty will be a hefty one.

Google braces for big Android fine

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

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Alphabet, which owns Google, learns today it if will be fined by the European Commission over its Android operating system.

The European Commission says the OS has unfairly strengthened its dominance of search and could fine the firm up to 10% of its annual revenue - or even force the unbundling of Android from the Chrome browser and other services.

Shivaun Raff and her husband Adam set up a price comparison website last decade called Foudem and complained to the European Commission in 2009 after it appeared to have been demoted in Google's search results.

She tells Today that Google's practice of bundling its Play app store with its suite of other products such as its search engine and browser is what is almost certain to earn the company a fine from Brussels today.

Ms Raff also points out that the EC has turned out to be the world's regulator of Silicon Valley because US regulation is more than a century old and has been "captured by extremist economists" who focus solely on price rather than other factors such as the use of consumers' data.

The EC has previously ordered the firm to pay a €2.4bn (£2.1bn) fine for its shopping comparison service - a ruling Google is still appealing.