It seems that the rise of big tech in the last few decades hasn’t been without its backlash and consequences. Just this past week, the European Commission levied a €4.34 billion fine against Google for its abuse of its dominating Android operating system inside the mobile phone industry. Although this amount may not seem to cause much of a dent to Google’s finances which reported revenues of €110 billion in the last financial year, this is still a rather lofty charge. Considering the company made a profit of €12.6 billion, paying out a third of its profit for violating competition policies was probably not ideal.
The Backlash Has Been Gradually Growing
The Google fine is one for the record books, but it is not at all the first of its kind to be imposed by the European Commission for competition violations and illegal state aid by big tech companies. In 2017, Google was also smacked with a €2.4 billion fine for using their own search engine to monopolise various markets and drive traffic to their own products or those of their associates. Something that the tech giant seems to be unable to get under control, considering their double bill for the current year.
The European Commission, Commissions Assertiveness
It seems that the European Commission’s insanely high financial fines have less to do with the money, and more to do with accountability and assertiveness. The regulations and policies being passed are intended to hold these big tech companies accountable for their actions. The point seems to also be to drive attention to the ordinary user of the dodgy infractions and violations of big tech. The daily big tech user is now in a position to start questioning how big tech uses them in return for them using big tech. With Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg being subpoenaed by American Congress to account for user privacy violations it seems that big tech’s dominance is starting to show crack.