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US Government says Google tried to restrict the Media Coverage of a Gender Discrimination Case

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London, May 23, 2017: Google tried to restrict the media coverage of a gender discrimination case brought by the US government alleging that the company had violated federal laws when it did not provide employees’ salary history and contact information as part of an audit, a media report has revealed.

The company tried to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the US Department of Labor, claiming that a government attorney may have violated ethics rules after he/she did an interview with the Guardian.

Referring to the court documents, the newspaper on Monday said Google unsuccessfully argued that a judge should dismiss a lawsuit filed by the US Department of Labor (DoL).

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The DoL had accused Google of systematically underpaying women and the court battle centre on the company’s refusal to hand over salary data the government has requested to which Google replied by saying that the data request was overly broad and violates its workers’ privacy.

The report observed that the motion for dismissal of the case shows Google’s aggressive efforts to end the case.

Critics said it appeared that Google was attempting to limit media scrutiny with unusual tactics that raise free press concerns and seem to contradict the corporation’s public claims that it is committed to transparency and accountability in its efforts to promote equal pay.

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It was also reported that Google tried to restrict press access during a hearing last month.

“Following a private meeting with the judge about the Guardian’s reporting, Google’s attorney requested that the proceeding be closed to the media before continuing, but a DoL attorney objected and the judge sided with the government,” the report said.

Google has repeatedly claimed that it has eliminated its gender pay gap globally with innovative compensation models. (IANS)

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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)