This is the concluding part of our report on how the European Union is taking a tough stance against one of the biggest tech firms in the world and its repercussions for other American conglomerates. Read the first part here to get up to speed.
The New case against Google
This time around, the Android operating system has being robed in real good.
The new charges related to Android OS are also similar to the earlier ones. Critics point out that Google use their dominant position in the operating system niche to force OEMs to include Google products and services in smartphones.
And more damming in the new charges is that Google manipulate the search engine to favor companies who buy Google ads. These can be broken in two parts
- The first part refers to website owners: the complaint is that Google don’t allow website owners to use Google search engine on their websites unless they show evidence of buying Google ads.
- Search engine results: that apart from favouring Google products and services in search results, websites and services that want to rank well in search engine results must show evidence of investing in Google ads. Another way of accusing Google of manipulating search results to favour people or firms with money to buy Google ads.
The Political Climate is against Google
Essentially, this is the sort of case that gathered a lot of steam as the years flew past. Google has grown bigger in the interim. Smaller Europeans firms have stagnated or closed shop in the meantime. The resentment has built up.
The current political climate has moved against Google and other big US companies. The feeling is that these US giants like Google, Microsoft and Facebook are trying to dominate the business space to the detriment of European companies.
That is why all sorts of European companies, from tech firms, Internet firm and publishers are seriously taking a keen interest in how the new EU anti-competition chief would prosecute this case. She has to deliver Google’s head on a platter or some careers in the European Union headquarters in Brussels would be put in serious jeopardy.
Looking Ahead to the Future
The future is what nobody can say for sure. But one thing everybody agreed on is that, Google would not be the same at the end of this case.
Saying that the case is the end of Google in Europe, and maybe the world, is one hyperbole taken too far.
Google as a company is still evolving with new products on the way. As a matter of fact, the rumored new Google phone could be the company’s way of securing the future of the Android operating system and Google products and services like Google maps, Google Chrome and Google search on smartphones.
So just like people thought Microsoft’s anti-trust cases all those years ago could destroy the company, the fact it didn’t work out that way should give us an inkling of what would happen to Google.
One thing we know for sure is that Google would have to pay a negotiated amount of money as fine for being too successful. Also, the European Union would demand that (that is in addition to the fine) Google should stop forcing their products on Android smartphone makers.
How the EU intends to cut the powers of Google search is something I have no idea about. Google search has become so ingrained in our lives to the extent we don’t even think of the existence of other search engines. Using other search engines is mostly out of curiosity. Perhaps, to see how bad they are so we feel justified in not using them.
Later, when the noise is down to manageable levels, the world is still likely to be dominated by the three American tech firms. Microsoft to power our computer operating system with Windows; Facebook and Messenger to handle all our online social needs; and Google Search to make online search a joy.
On a side note though, but equally related, Facebook must be watching all these with trepidation. The social networking firm has grown just as big as Google and Microsoft. Zuckerberg and his team should brace up for their own lawsuits from the European Union.
It would surely happen. Because, like I mentioned earlier, the political climate today favors anti-American sentiments.
With additional reports from Wired
Image credit: itechwiz.com; csoonline.com; forbes.com; theguardian.com