The $2.7 billion fine Europe levied against Google last week over its Shopping product was quite significant. However, that is the least of Google’s troubles as they face another record fine over perceived antitrust aspects of Android. The latest move sees the EU setting up another panel of experts to provide a second opinion on the ongoing case.
This peer review panel, as reported by Reuters, is made up of three to four experienced officials who will examine the conclusion of antitrust regulators. If this red team comes to the same findings, it could see the European Commission fining Google by year’s end.
At issue is how Google practices allegedly stifle rival competing services. Namely, Google requires manufacturers to pre-install Search and Chrome on their devices in order to access other apps. Furthermore, regulators allege that Google pays OEMs and cell carriers to only install Google Search.
Given Android’s marketshare and ongoing growth, such a fine would be significantly larger than the already record $2.7 billion fine. Google could also be forced to stop these practices.
It’s unknown whether the panel has started their work. Such a group usually takes three to four weeks, though it could be extended.
Furthermore, it’s unclear what the resulting impact will be on Android for consumers.