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.


Pence presses Myanmar’s Suu Kyi to pardon Reuters journalists

Updated 14 November 2018
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Pence presses Myanmar’s Suu Kyi to pardon Reuters journalists

  • Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were arrested in Yangon in December 2017
  • Lawyers for the two Reuters reporters have lodged an appeal against their conviction

SINGAPORE: US Vice President Mike Pence pressed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi “multiple times” on Wednesday to pardon two Reuters journalists jailed in her country, a senior White House official said.
Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were arrested in Yangon in December 2017. They were found guilty in September of breaching the Official Secrets Act and sentenced to seven years in prison.
Pence met Suu Kyi on the sidelines of an Asia summit in Singapore.
“He raised the case of two Reuters journalists in particular and raised the request that a pardon could be made,” a senior White House official told reporters on condition of anonymity. “They had a very candid exchange of views on that.”
The White House official said Pence urged Suu Kyi directly to pardon the Reuters journalists “multiple times.”
The official declined to comment on Suu Kyi’s response in the closed-door meeting.
Lawyers for the two Reuters reporters have lodged an appeal against their conviction.
At the time of their arrest in December, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were working on a Reuters investigation into the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim villagers during an army crackdown in Rakhine state.