EU’s Latest Massive Fine Against Google Will Hurt Europeans Most of All

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Have you ever heard anyone seriously say: “Man, there just aren’t enough shopping choices on the Net!” or, “I’d really like my smartphone to be more complicated and less secure!” or … well, you get the idea — nobody actually means stuff like that.

But sadly, this means nothing to the politicians and bureaucrats of the European Union, who are constantly trying to enrich themselves with massive fines against firms like Google, while simultaneously making Internet life ever more “mommy state” government micromanaged for Europeans.

The latest giant fine (which Google quite righteously will appeal) announced by the EU extortion machine is five billion dollars, for claimed offenses by Google related to the Android operating system, all actually aspects of Android that are designed to help users and to provide a secure and thriving foundation for a wide range of applications and user choice.

In fact, in the final analysis, the changes in Android that the EU is demanding would result in much more complicated phones, less secure phones, and ultimately LESS choice for users resulting from alterations that will make life much more difficult (and expensive!) for application developers and users alike.

Why do the EU politicos keep behaving as if they want to destroy the Internet?

It’s because in significant ways that exactly what they have in mind. They don’t like an Internet that the government doesn’t tightly control, where they don’t dictate all aspects of how consumers interact with the Net and what these users are permitted to see and do. Even now, they’re still pushing horrific legislation to create a Chinese-style firewall to vastly limit what kind of content Europeans can upload to the Net, and to destroy businesses that depend on free inbound linking. And these hypocritical EU officials are desperately trying to prop up failing businesses whose business models are stuck in the 20th (or even 19th) centuries, while passing all the costs on to ordinary Europeans — who by and large seem to be quite happy with how the Internet is already working.

And of course, there’s the money. Need more money? Hell, the EU always needs more money. Gin up another set of fake violations against Google, then show up in Mountain View with sticky fingers extended for another multi-billion dollar check!

The EU has become a bigger threat to the Internet than even China or Russia, neither of which has attempted (so far) to extend globally their highly restrictive views of Internet freedoms. 

And the saddest part is that these kinds of abuses by the EU are hurting EU consumers most of all. Over time, fewer and fewer Internet firms will even want to deal with this kind of EU, and Europeans will find their actual choices more and more limited and government controlled as a result.

That’s a terrible shame for Europe — and for the entire world.

–Lauren–

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3 thoughts on “EU’s Latest Massive Fine Against Google Will Hurt Europeans Most of All”

  1. The fact that the fine money must be paid or “locked up” with the EU until the appeals process is complete should be a dead giveaway that this is some type of sleazy attempt to extort money.
    No one should have to pony up any money until the appeal process is completed.
    Why would the EU care to even consider dismissing the case if they already have the money in their greedy little hands? Ridiculous.

  2. There’s no extortion or pocket-lining going on here. This is the EU making sure that the fine, if upheld, is paid; better that than the company suddenly gets wound up and another started in its place. And if the fine is reduced, you can be certain that the difference will be returned to Google.

    Apple is in the clear here because iOS and iPhone are not separately available. Google, on the other hand, allows others to use Android –but with strings attached, and it’s these to which the EU is objecting. And while you’re at it, count the number of phone operating systems which are available for any manufacturer to use…

    1. You do realize how nonsensical that sounds, right? Build a totally closed system that everyone has to pay for as Apple has, and you’re in the clear! Build an open, free system and share it widely, and when you try to get some revenue stream and harden the system from security and fragmentation problems, you get attacked! A perfect example of utterly Orwellian thinking by the EU bureaucrats.

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