Trump Blasts EU Over Google Fine

President Trump sided with Google this morning in its antitrust fight with European authorities.

Weighing in on Twitter, Trump criticized the EU for imposing a $5.1 billion fine on "one of our great companies, Google."

He added that the EU "truly have taken advantage of the U.S., but not for long!"

Trump's post comes one day after regulators in the European Commission said they had found Google violated Europe's antitrust law by requiring Android manufacturers to configure smartphones and tablets in ways that favor the Google services. Specifically, Google was found to require manufacturers to install the Chrome browser and set Google as the default search engine on Android devices.

Consumers who use Android devices can install other browsers, and can select other search engines. But the EU found that Google's bundling requirements helped solidify its dominance.

Google has already said it will appeal.

The president's Twitter post appears to be part of a larger attempt to bash Europe as an economic threat to America. Earlier this week, he described the European Union as a "foe."

Whether Trump is also signaling regulators in the U.S. remains unknown. But his tweet comes as Google's critics are increasingly pushing for investigations into the company.

On Wednesday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) urged the Federal Trade Commission to probe Google for possible antitrust violations.

Thursday morning, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) also called for the FTC to "examine the European Commission’s findings and take action for any antitrust violation."

It's not only Democrats who have expressed concerns about Google. Republicans on Capitol Hill have repeatedly complained that Google (and other tech platforms) promote left-wing viewpoints by censoring conservative views.

Other Google critics include privacy advocates -- who have long argued that Google and other Silicon Valley companies scoop up too much data from consumers -- and companies like Yelp, which argue that Google can stifle competitors by downgrading them in the search results.

Current FTC Chairman Joseph Simons said at a House hearing this week that he was "very interested" in the EU's action. But he also noted that the EU's antitrust approached was different from that of the U.S. In Europe, he said, authorities can take action after they find a company is "dominant." But in the U.S., there also must be a harm to consumer welfare.

The FTC previously investigated whether Google violated antitrust law by promoting its own services in the search results, but closed the probe in 2013 without bringing charges. Former Chairman Jon Leibowitz said at the time the agency found that Google's primary reason for touting its own offerings in the search results was "to improve the user experience."

3 comments about "Trump Blasts EU Over Google Fine".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. David Freid from Verti Group International, July 21, 2018 at 1:18 p.m.

    I see no violation in that Google is the premier provider of a browser providing more security and support for our ultimate of online experiences than any other browser. I would think that if there were to be a default browser found on devices, (and user experience demands that there is) I would opt default or not for the Google Chrome browser. I mean, who's browser do you think qualifies more? 

  2. John Grono from GAP Research, July 21, 2018 at 6:47 p.m.

    Gosh, we can't have the EU enforcing its laws now can we.

  3. Pete Austin from Fresh Relevance, August 6, 2018 at 10:24 a.m.

    Don't see the issue because there's good evidence that people don't stick with the defaults if there's a significantly better alternative.

    Microsoft pre-installs its Edge browser on Windows 10 for example, but this doesn't mean people use it. The joke is that they use Edge exactly once, to download Chrome which is currently the best browser.

Next story loading loading..