This is only my opinion, and not the representation of Saintel Daily, LLC.
You probably heard, the European Union issued Google with a fine this week. And it wasn’t just a small, insignificant fine. The EU is saying that Google has to pay them $5 billion (with a b) because they abused their dominant position in mobile. What may or may not surprise you is that Donald Trump went after the EU pretty hard. In fact, Trump tried to tie this decision by the EU to the trade war that he’s unleashed on the EU (and the rest of the world). Of course, that is just his hubris talking. Not everything in this world is about you, Donald Trump.
Let’s back up a big. The fine was issued following an antitrust investigation of the Android mobile operating system. The investigation concluded that requiring phone manufacturers to preload specific Google apps and services onto Android phones prevents innovation and denies choice to consumers across Europe. Shortly after the announcement, Google CEO Sundar Pichai published a blog post detailing the reasons that he disagreed with the EU’s decision. Pichai indicated that he intended to appeal the fine. I’m not saying that Google is right or wrong in this particular instance, but I think that it’s fair for Google to disagree, and subsequently file an appeal.
What Trump might not understand is that the EU frequently takes tech companies to task over issues – like taxes, antitrust issues, and privacy. And like I said, Trump is taking this as a direct hit at him. Does this make any sense though? Trump’s trade war might be a month old, and less than that in terms of the actual tariffs, but only weeks in terms of implementation. Where am I going with this? My guess is that this investigation started long before Trump’s trade war. My guess is also that Google knew it was coming. So where is Trump going with all of this?
If you hadn’t noticed, Trump is doing a good job of alienating America from a global perspective. It seems the only ally that the United States has right now is Russia. For the average citizen, that should scare you. A few weeks ago, Trump attended the NATO summit in the U.K, during which time he specifically called the EU a “foe”.
“Well, I think we have a lot of foes. I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now, you wouldn’t think of the European Union, but they’re a foe. Russia is a foe in certain respects. China is a foe economically, certainly, they are a foe. But that doesn’t mean they are bad. It doesn’t mean anything. It means that they are competitive.”
He’s saying it’s not bad to be a foe in one breath, and in the next, he’s saying that the EU is undercutting the United States by taking aim at Google. Which means, this is just the cost of doing business, isn’t it? I mean, these are his words. Regardless, I think its narcissistic to think that the EU is punishing Google as a result of the tariffs.