Google faces EU anti-trust fines over Android: Sources

In this file photo, the logo of Google is pictured during the Viva Tech start-up and technology summit in Paris, France, May 25, 2018. (REUTERS/Charles Platiau)
Updated 07 June 2018
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Google faces EU anti-trust fines over Android: Sources

  • The long-expected decision comes as transatlantic tensions are at a pinnacle in the wake of shock tariffs by the US on Europe
  • Brussels has already spent eight years targeting Google, fueled by a deep apprehension of the company’s dominance of Internet search across Europe

BRUSSELS: The EU’s powerful anti-trust authority is set to decide in the coming weeks that Google unfairly punishes rivals of its Android mobile phone operating system and faces billions of euros in fines, sources said on Thursday.
The long-expected decision comes as transatlantic tensions are at a pinnacle in the wake of shock tariffs by the US on European steel and aluminum imports and an EU privacy crackdown on US tech giants, including Facebook.
Several sources with knowledge of the matter told AFP that the decision could land in the next few weeks, most likely in July.
Brussels has already spent eight years targeting Google, fueled by a deep apprehension of the company’s dominance of Internet search across Europe, where it commands about 90 percent of the market.
EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager “likes taking people by surprise,” said one source, referring to the steely former Danish minister who has led the campaign against Google.
The case against Android is the most significant of three complaints by the EU against the search titan, which has already been hit with a record-breaking 2.4-billion-euro fine in a Google shopping case.
In the Android file, the European Commission has accused Google of obstructing innovation by giving unfair prominence to its own apps, especially its search engine, in deals with mobile phone manufacturers such as Samsung and Huawei.
Google is on the hook to be fined 10 percent of Google’s parent company Alphabet’s annual revenue, which hit $110.9 billion in 2017.
Both Google and the European Commission refused to comment on this information when questioned by AFP.


Cuba slightly loosens controls on state media

Updated 21 June 2018
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Cuba slightly loosens controls on state media

HAVANA: Reports in Cuba’s state-run press have long consisted mostly of transcriptions of official Communist Party declarations, but that turgid style appears to be incrementally changing in the wake of Miguel Diaz-Canel becoming president in April.
Cuban journalists said the Political Bureau of the Communist Party, one of the country’s most powerful bodies, recently approved a “New Communication Policy” aimed at giving state media more ability to report news like their colleagues do in other countries.
State journalists say the goal is to compete with the spread of information from alternative online sources. Cuba has one of the world’s lowest rates of Internet use, but access has been expanding rapidly and Cubans who get online can find a nearly unlimited range of non-official media outlets.