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|US President Donald Trump, Photo: AFP/Nicholas Kamm|
"I told you so! The European Union just slapped a Five Billion Dollar fine on one of our great companies, Google," Trump tweeted in reaction to the 4.34 billion euro (US$5 billion) penalty slapped on Google for abusing the dominance of its mobile operating system.
"They truly have taken advantage of the US, but not for long!" he said. Brussels accused Google of using the Android system's near-stranglehold on smartphones and tablets to promote the use of its own Google search engine and shut out rivals.
The decision, which follows a three-year EU investigation, comes as fears of a transatlantic trade war mount because of President Donald Trump's decision to impose tariffs on European steel and aluminium exports.
"Google has engaged in illegal practices to cement its dominant market position in internet search," EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said as she announced the huge fine.
EU officials on Wednesday also ordered Google to stop using its popular Android mobile operating system to block its rivals, adding to trade tensions between Washington and Brussels.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is scheduled to meet with Trump at the White House next Wednesday to discuss trade and other issues.
Google said it would appeal the EU decision. The fine is nearly double the previous penalty that the company was ordered to pay last year, but it represents a little more than two weeks of revenue for its parent company, Alphabet Inc.