Google 'abuses' highlighted in the wake of record anti-trust fine

Google 'abuses' highlighted in the wake of record anti-trust fine

The Content Creators Coalition (C3) has called for “stronger rules to end Google’s abuses” after the European Union fined the digital giant a record $5 billion. 

The sanction was imposed after the European Commission found that Google had committed offences around its Android product, inserting its search engine and Google Chrome apps into the operating system. Additionally, Google had “made payments to certain manufacturers and mobile phone operators” to exclusively add its search app onto handsets.

A C3 statement read: “As artists and consumers, we applaud the European Union and European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, for holding Google accountable for competition abuses by fining it $5 billion. But for a company that brings in over $100 billion a year, it’s unlikely that any amount of fines alone will be sufficient to force change. 

“Google has a long track record of running roughshod over competition, manipulating products and search results to boost its own bottom line, and strip-mining the creative economy by shortchanging artists like us while earning billions off our music and illegal uploads.”

The statement argued that little has changed since Google received a $2.7bn fine last year. “Rather than taking a hard look in the mirror and changing its ways, the executives in Mountain View simply dropped ‘Don’t Be Evil’ as the company motto. 

The Coalition called for international authorities to “supplement fines and enforcement with stronger rules to protect consumers and end Google’s abuses.”

It added: “That is why artists everywhere are calling on the EU to pass its Article 13 copyright reforms and urging the US Congress to update the obsolete DMCA.

“Only then will dominant online platforms like Google stop looking at fines as the cost of doing business and start building a culture of real accountability within their companies.”

Earlier this month, the music industry appealed to legislators ahead of the vote concerning the EU Copyright Directive and Article 13 in the European Parliament.

The reform was rejected, with a full debate planned for September.

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