Google is probably the most probed tech company in the world—the search engine behemoth just can’t seem to escape the eagle eyes of the authorities. According to the Wall Street Journal, the US Department of Justice is planning to initiate an antitrust probe into the activities of Google as it relates to Search.
The Justice Department has been “laying the groundwork for the probe” in the last couple of weeks. The US Federal Trade Commission, which is the regulatory authority will, however, allow the Justice Department lead the probe into the activities of the company.
Google has a history with antitrust and regulatory bodies in different countries across the world. From Europe, to India, and now the United States; the search giant is always in the eyes of the storm.
The India antitrust watchdog is currently investigating Google whether it is abusing its Android dominant position to hurt rivals. Citing two sources familiar with the matter, Reuters reports that Google is being investigated over its Android operating system blocking its rivals. The investigation into Android affairs began last year after the Competition Commission of India (CCI) declared there was merit the accusation against Google has merit.
“It is a strong case for the CCI, given the EU precedent,” one of the two sources said per Reuters. “The CCI has (preliminarily) found Google abused its dominant position.”
The investigation, which is expected to last about a year, will require the presence of Google executives to appear at different times before the end of the year, the source told Reuters.
Google in a statement made available per TechCrunch said: “Android has enabled millions of Indians to connect to the internet by making mobile devices more affordable. We look forward to working with the Competition Commission of India to demonstrate how Android has led to more competition and innovation, not less.”
Google risks being fined up to 10 percent of its local revenue or 300 percent of its net profits should it be found guilty after the probe has been concluded.
In 2018, The European Commission slammed a fine of $5 billion on Google for violating antitrust laws. The Commission says the search engine giant abused its dominance of the Android market in three major areas. Recall that the search engine giant has been criticized heavily for bundling its search engine and Chrome apps into the mobile operating system.
Google is also being accused of blocking phone manufacturers from creating devices that run versions of its mobile OS Android. The company is also being accused of making “payments to certain large manufacturers and mobile network operators on condition that they exclusively pre-installed the Google Search app on their devices.”