BRUSSELS — European regulators’ latest swipe at the dominance of U.S. tech giant Google could open new opportunities for rivals in search and web browsers — that is, if cellphone manufacturers decide to make the most of the opening.
The European Commission on Wednesday fined Google a record $5 billion for forcing cellphone makers that use the company’s Android operating system to install Google’s search and browser apps. It also set a 90-day deadline for Google to rectify the problem or risk further fines.
A remedy could involve unbundling its core apps Search, Chrome and Play Store from eight other apps it packages with Android. The company could also decide to reverse its practice of barring Android manufacturers from selling devices using altered versions of Android, such as Amazon’s Fire OS.
EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said concerns about restricting competition “wasn’t just a remote possibility from theory books.” She said Amazon tried to license its Android-based Fire OS in 2012, but Google’s contracts prevented it.