EU prepping to fine Alphabet up to $11 billion over Android antitrust, says report
EU antitrust authorities are gearing up to fine Alphabet Inc. up to $11 billion over antitrust issues related to its Android operating system, according to a report Wednesday in the Financial Times. Alphabet class A shares are down 0.9% in mid-afternoon trading and closed at $1,151.02 Tuesday. Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner, is expected to announce the fine within several weeks but the exact size of the fine wasn’t clear, according to anonymous sources cited by the FT. The EU usually issues fines on the lower end of the $11 billion spectrum, according to the FT. The EU announced the antitrust case in 2016 and accused the advertising giant of imposing licensing conditions for the Android OS that favored Google’s products and apps over rivals. The EU argued that these activities, among others, amounted to making it more difficult to develop competing web browsers and other operating systems, which ultimately would reduce innovation and give consumers fewer choices. Alphabet has denied the charges. The EU also has investigated Google’s comparison shopping business, which resulted in a €2.4 billion fine. Alphabet stock is up 8.6% this year, as the S&P 500 index has gained 2.8%.