• Everybody loves Google, but it seems like they might be in hot water with Europe, as they’ve been given a 5-milion dollars fine for their part in antitrust violations regarding Android. Android, the tech-child of Google has allegedly been forcing the use of their services, including Gmail, Play Store, and the Chrome browser on those using Android devices. While the allegations seem sound, Americans are wondering why Google is being hit with the fine when companies like Apple do much the same thing with Safari, iCloud, and iTunes.

So, what’s the problem with Google using Android for personal gain and how is it different from the case the U.S. government brought upon the company in the past? Here’s a guide to understanding the 5-billion dollar fine and why Google might just have to pay.

The Apple Conundrum Before going into the where, what and why of the Android issue, it’s important to take a look at why companies like Blackberry and Apple get out of this Antitrust legal battle. It seems that the EU disregards companies like Apple for similar favoritism, because Apple doesn’t market their services to any other brand or provider. For example, Safari isn’t a browser used by Samsung or LG, only by Apple. Therefore, requiring all Apple owners to use Apple applications is fine. Because all Apple users purchase their device with the knowledge that it is Apple operated. Whereas, buying a third-party device and still being governed by Google limits the way that a device user can operate their phone or tablet.

The Problem with Android Google’s financial power is primarily gained through their search engine endeavors. Users who operate on the Chrome browser use the Google engine automatically. This is the same for other Google features, including the Gmail platform and Play Store. For Android users to access the Play Store, whether on a Samsung, LG, or other compatible device, they must agree to use the Google search application. This package of tools is bundled and disallows the use of any alternative, including the Amazon Fire operating system.

In the past, there have been some Android developers who have tried to get around this Google barricade by way of a forked Android system implementing an alternative operating system. Those who have tried have been penalized by Google and banned from using Google services, including the Play Store. Google then reaps the benefits of this exclusivity of usage through multiple third-party electronic brands by captivating users with their ads and applications.

Third Party Opinion With the recent ruling that google owes 5-billion dollars, a fine that seems like mere pennies to Google, the media has turned toward other Android companies for opinion. It seems that nobody is willing to speak out against the search engine giant. This could be because the companies don’t want to risk being penalized by Google in the future, but it could also be because Google is helping these companies become successful. Yes, Google is making a bundle off of these bundles, but LG, Samsung, and other devices are also making money through Google’s support.

In fact, comparing the income structure to the giant that is Android to the former giant that is Apple is astounding. There was a time when it was Blackberry and Apple fighting it out for top spot in the device race, with Nokia, Motorola, and other devices watching sadly from the sidelines. Now, any device creator can be successful because there are apps, internet browsers, and search engines designed to be compatible with just about any piece of tech you load them onto.

Google Going Forward What will this suit mean for Google in the future, will it change the way that Google does business? At this time it’s difficult to say what will happen going forward, or how big of a difference this will make to the Android platform. At present, Google has three months to pay their fine and halt the preinstalled Google search feature on Android phones, but it doesn’t appear that the search engine giant will be doing anything of the sort. In fact, Google is doing just the opposite, by appealing the suit and hoping to reverse the charges.

Even if Google wins their appeal, this could mean big changes with Android in the hopes of avoiding future cases of the same nature. The outcome of this case could change the future of Android forever, making it one of the most important battles in the tech world to date, right up there with the recent Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal.

User Opinion While third-party phone vendors haven’t had much to say on the subject, device users haven’t been so quiet in their opinions. It seems that the public wants to have the option to use whatever operating system they want. Does this mean Google could take a big hit if the ruling goes through? Experts don’t seem to think so. There’s a chance that even if Google is forced to offer options to device users, many will still choose the trusted Google applications, browser and search features.

If the world of smart phones and tablets looks anything like the current world of desktop and laptops, the Google browser and search feature will still rule supreme. It’s the principle of the thing that seems to matter most to the public. So, will the people get what they want, or will Android forking take a backseat to King Google? You’ll have to watch the story unfold to know for sure.

feb 19 2019 ∞
feb 19 2019 +