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Google CEO Sundar Pichai to visit India in December

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New Delhi: Since Chennai-born Sundar Pichai took over as Google’s CEO, he would be taking his first overseas trip and plans to visit India later in December.

Sources said Pichai is slated to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee. The 43-year old CEO had met Modi in September during the Prime Minister’s Silicon Valley visit.

The IIT-Kharagpur alumnus is also supposed to hold an open event at the Delhi University for Indian students from all across the country.

Pichai will also be listing Google’s plans for India in his keynote address at a Google for India event, added the sources.

However, a spokesperson from Google India failed to confirm these details.

Apparently, Google will be hosting an event on December 16 for which it has sent out invites. “At Google, we believe that technology can change people’s lives for the better. Indians are coming online at an astonishing rate with affordable smartphones. These new users have a completely fresh view on what the Internet has to offer. Please block your date for an event with Google as we outline our vision for these users,” read the invite.

Google had earlier announced that it will work together with the Indian Railways to make sure 500 stations across India will have free wi-fi access by next year.

Pichai had also stated plans regarding Google incorporating 11 Indian languages in its Android platform, including Gujarati—Pichai’s mother tongue.

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EU Prepares to hit Google with Record Fine in Android Monopoly Case

As well as the fine, Google is set to be ordered to break its agreements with phone manufacturers

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Opponents claim that this constitutes abuse of Android's 74 per cent share of the European smartphone market and harms rival search engines and browsers.
Opponents claim that this constitutes abuse of Android's 74 per cent share of the European smartphone market and harms rival search engines and browsers. Pixabay

Google will be hit with a record European Union (EU) fine for using its Android smartphone system to fortify its search empire.

The fine — likely to be handed down on Tuesday or Wednesday — is expected to eclipse the 2.1 bn pound monopoly abuse penalty Google paid last year over its internet shopping business, and escalates the war between Silicon Valley and Brussels, The Telegraph reported on Saturday.

The European Commission’s competition chief Margrethe Vestager has been investigating Google for three years over complaints the company illegally forces smartphone manufacturers to install its apps.

It gives its Android software to phone manufacturers for free, but binds them to “exclusivity agreements” that force them to install Google’s web browser and search engine if they use the Google Play app store, the report said.

The commission has the power to fine Google up to 10 per cent of its parent company Alphabet's annual turnover, or 9.5 bn euro (8.4 bn pound)
The commission has the power to fine Google up to 10 per cent of its parent company Alphabet’s annual turnover, or 9.5 bn euro (8.4 bn pound). Pixabay

Opponents claim that this constitutes abuse of Android’s 74 per cent share of the European smartphone market and harms rival search engines and browsers.

Meanwhile, Google insists the agreements allow Android to remain free to manufacturers and help them compete against Apple.

The commission has the power to fine Google up to 10 per cent of its parent company Alphabet’s annual turnover, or 9.5 bn euro (8.4 bn pound).

Also Read: Google Rolls Out ‘Morse Code’ Support on Gboard for iOS

Although it is not expected to use the full extent of its powers, the fine is likely to be higher than the 2.4 bn euros Google was ordered to pay in June last year over claims it stuffed search results with its own shopping adverts, squeezing out price comparison services.

As well as the fine, Google is set to be ordered to break its agreements with phone manufacturers. This could mean more Android phones being sold without Google software installed, potentially boosting rival search engines and web browsers such as Microsoft’s Bing or Firefox. (IANS)

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