Google Hit by Record EUR 2.42-Billion Fine for Breaching EU Antitrust Rules

The EU hit Google with a record EUR 2.4 billion ($2.72 billion or roughly Rs. 17,541 crores) anti-trust fine Tuesday for favouring its own shopping service, in a fresh assault on a US tech giant that risks the wrath of President Donald Trump.

Hard-charging European Commission competition chief Margrethe Vestager said Google had “abused its market dominance” as the world’s most popular search engine to give illegal advantage to its Google Shopping service.

“What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules. It denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate,” Denmark’s Vestager told a news conference.

“And most importantly, it denied European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation.”

Google now has 90 days to “end this conduct” or face further penalty payments, Vestager said.

The fine broke the previous EU record for a monopoly case against US chipmaker Intel of EUR 1.06 billion in 2009.

Google said that it “respectfully” disagreed with the EU decision, which followed a seven-year investigation, and was considering an appeal.

“We respectfully disagree with the conclusions announced today. We will review the Commission’s decision in detail as we consider an appeal, and we look forward to continuing to make our case,” Kent Walker, the company’s senior vice president and general counsel, said in a statement.

Google insisted that it “shows shopping ads, connecting our users with thousands of advertisers, large and small, in ways that are useful for both.”

‘Market dominance’
The decision comes less than a year after Vestager shocked Washington and the world with an order that iPhone manufacturer Apple repay EUR 13 billion in back taxes in Ireland.

Google Hit by Record EUR 2.42-Billion Fine for Breaching EU Antitrust Rules
Crucially for Google, Brussels has demanded that the US tech giant change the business model for Google Shopping to meet the EU’s concerns.

While an EU record, the amount is below the maximum possible of more than EUR 8 billion or 10 percent of Google’s total revenue of 90 billion dollars last year.

Brussels accuses Google of giving its own online service, Google Shopping, too much priority in search results to the detriment of other price comparison services, such as TripAdvisor and Expedia.

“Google’s market dominance has given the company power to decide the fate of all but the biggest online service providers – in other words nearly every company,” said Fairsearch, a lobby of complainants, in a statement.

The case, launched in 2010, is one of three against Google and of several against blockbuster US companies including Starbucks, Apple, Amazon and McDonalds.

In the other Google cases, the EU is examining Google’s AdSense advertising service and its Android mobile phone software.

The cases have stoked tensions with Washington and could now face the wrath of Trump, the real estate tycoon who won office on his “America First” slogan.

The decision come after a long negotiation period with many twists and turns in which the two sides tried to settle the case amicably.

Vestager’s predecessor, the Spaniard Joaquin Almunia, made three attempts to resolve the dispute but in each case intense pressure by national governments, rivals and privacy advocates scuppered the effort.

 

EU Said to Fine Google With Record Fine This Week

The EU’s powerful antitrust regulator will slap Google with a record fine as early as Tuesday in another European blow against a US tech giant, sources said.

Led by hard-charging European Commission competition chief Margrethe Vestager, the EU will impose a massive penalty against Google that would break the previous record of EUR 1.06 billion set in 2009 against Intel, the US chipmaker.

More importantly for Google, Brussels will demand that the US tech giant change its business practices to meet the EU’s concerns.

The decision, expected Tuesday or Wednesday, comes a year after Vestager shocked the world and angered the Obama administration with an order that Apple repay EUR 13 billion in back taxes in Ireland.

Sources close to the matter said Google’s fine would range EUR 1.1-2.0 billion. While an EU record, this is well below the maximum possible of about EUR 8.0 billion or 10 percent of Google’s total revenue last year.

Brussels accuses Google of giving its own online shopping services top priority in search results to the detriment of other price comparison services.

The case is one of three against Google and of several against blockbuster US companies including Starbucks, Apple, Amazon and McDonalds.

In the other Google cases, the EU is examining Google’s AdSense advertising service and its Android mobile phone software.

EU Said to Fine Google With Record Fine This Week
If confirmed, the fine would come after a long period in which the two sides tried to settle the case amicably.

The cases have stoked tensions with Washington and could now face the wrath of US President Donald Trump, who won office on his “America First” slogan.

“We continue to engage constructively with the European Commission and we believe strongly that our innovations in online shopping have been good for shoppers, retailers and competition,” said Mark Jansen, a spokesman for Google.

The European Commission refused to comment.

The Commission, which polices EU competition policy, launched an initial investigation into Google in 2010 following complaints from rivals such as Microsoft and Trip Advisor that it favoured its own shopping services when customers ran searches.

Claims that practices by Google Shopping harm competition “are wrong as a matter of fact, law, and economics,” Google’s general counsel Kent Walker wrote in response to the EU last year.

Vestager’s predecessor, Joaquin Almunia, made three attempts to resolve the dispute but in each case intense pressure by national governments, rivals and privacy advocates scuppered the effort.

 

How to Record iPhone Calls for Free

Recording phone calls is a pretty straightforward process on Android, but that’s not the case on iPhone. The App Store has some call recording apps, but we haven’t found any that work in India. None of the call recording apps on the US App Store which actually work are free, so you’re going to have to shell out some cash up-front if you want to record phone calls.

Now, recording phone calls is a bit of a grey area. We strongly advise against recording a phone call without permission. If you are recording a phone call, always let the person on the other end of the line know that you are doing so. You wouldn’t record a video without permission, and the same basic principles apply to recording phone calls. There are several cases, such as telephonic interviews, when recording a phone call can be very useful. It could even be to record a recipe that someone narrates over the phone or a set of instructions that you know you’ll forget. As long as the other person is fine with you recording the call, you’re good to go.

Now that you are ready to record calls, let’s start by talking about a simple hack you can try. When you are on a call on your iPhone, you can just put the phone in speaker mode and use a second phone or a voice recorder to record the conversation. The quality will be poor but at least you will have a recording. If that’s not an option, follow these steps.

How to Record iPhone Calls for Free

How to make and receive phone calls using a Mac
The only other reliable and free way to record phone calls via an iPhone requires a Mac. Before you begin, check whether your Mac is able to make and receive calls using your iPhone. Your Mac should be on OS X Yosemite or newer, and your iPhone needs to be on iOS 8 or newer versions of the OS. Now, these steps will help you record phone calls on your iPhone via the Mac.

On your iPhone, go to Settings > Phone > Calls on Other Devices.
Enable Allow Calls on Other Devices.
Below this, under Allow Calls On, tap the switch next to your Mac so that it turns green and is enabled.
Now make sure that your iPhone and Mac are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
Sign in to the same iCloud account on both devices.
Sign in to FaceTime using the same iCloud account on both devices.
Ensure that your iPhone is near the Mac and both devices have Bluetooth switched on.
Now when you receive a call on the iPhone, you’ll see a notification on the Mac and you can answer the call on the laptop or desktop. Similarly, you can even make phone calls from the Mac.
iphone mac phone call continuity apple sc Continuity

How to record phone calls on iPhone using a Mac
These steps will help you record phone calls via your Mac.

Free software suck as QuickTime didn’t work to properly record the call. Instead, download Audio Hijack on the Mac. It’s a powerful audio recording app from indie app developer Rogue Amoeba. Audio Hijack costs $49 (roughly Rs. 3,200) but the free trial lets you record for up to 20 minutes in one session.
Open Audio Hijack and press Cmd + N or click Session in the top bar and select New Session.
This will ask you to select a session template. Double-click Application Audio.
On the left side, you will see three blocks — Application, Recorder, and Output. Click the Application block and select FaceTime from the drop-down under Source.
Now when you make or receive a phone call from your Mac, just hit the big record button in Audio Hijack. It’s on the bottom left of the app window.
When you’re done recording hit the record button again to stop. You can access the recorded file by clicking Recordings on the bottom-right of the app window.
audio hijack record calls facetime Audio Hijack

You can record up to 20 minutes for free, but after that the app adds a large amount of noise to the recording. To get around this, you can stop the recording before 20 minutes are up and start a new session and record again. However, if you like the app and are happy with the quality of call recordings, we advise that you support the developer by buying Audio Hijack.

This method of recording calls won’t work if you’re not in Wi-Fi range, so it’s best suited for recording when you are at home or in office. However, it works very well if you have Wi-Fi, and the quality of recordings is good too. If you’ve been looking for a way to record phone calls on your iPhone in India, this method is probably your best bet. For more tutorials, visit our How To section.

Sensex Surges Over 200 Points To Record High, Nifty Near 9,700; Infosys Leads Gains

Indian shares extended gains in noon trade with the BSE Sensex rising nearly 240 point to a fresh all-time high of 31,522 and Nifty gaining nearly 60 points to 9,698. Gains in the market were led by banking and financial services and IT shares. Nifty Bank, NSE’s sub-index for banking shares nearly 0.8 per cent to a record high of 23,897.85 led by gains in Yes Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, PNB and SBI. Nifty IT, the IT sub-index of NSE rose as much as 0.82 per cent.
Sensex crossed the 31,500 mark for the first time on Thrusday (June 22).
Infosys was the top gainer in Nifty, up 2.5 per cent, followed by Yes Bank, Aurobindo Pharma, Sun Pharma and HDFC, which rose between 1.5-2.1 per cent.

As of 11:35 am, Sensex was up 233.54 points or 0.74 per cent at 31,517.18 and the NSE benchmark Nifty traded 61.70 points higher at 9,695.30.