It happened to Microsoft in 2013 and it looks like history is repeating itself, albeit with Google being the one under the spotlight. The European Union (EU) is expected to decide on a record fine for forcing Android smartphone makers to pre-install its search and web browsing tools and use them by default unless they want to lose access to the Play Store.
The decision is expected in the next two days after three years of investigation following complaints about the monopolistic act.
The fine will be massive as the commission can fine Google up to 10 percent of its parent company, Alphabet’s annual turnover or 9.5b euro. More impactful for Google is that it may be ordered to break agreements with phone makers on the pre-installation of the default search engine and browser, opening the door for the likes of Microsoft.
Interestingly, Microsoft itself was slapped with a 561m euros fine for failing to offer web browsers besides its proprietary Internet Explorer, to users in the EU in 2013. That case dated back to 2007 when Opera complained to the EU that Microsoft was stifling competition by bundling Internet Explorer with its Windows operating system.