What just happened? Donald Trump’s relationship with the tech industry has long been strained at best. Following the European Commission’s record $5.06 billion fine against Google, however, the President has voiced his support for the tech firm.
Google was hit with the penalty on Wednesday for breaching EU antitrust laws. The Commission said the company forced manufacturers to pre-install the Google Search app and Chrome browser “as a condition for licensing Google’s app store (the Play Store).”
Trump took to Twitter following news of the fine. “I told you so!” he wrote. “The European Union just slapped a Five Billion Dollar fine on one of our great companies, Google. They truly have taken advantage of the U.S., but not for long!”
I told you so! The European Union just slapped a Five Billion Dollar fine on one of our great companies, Google. They truly have taken advantage of the U.S., but not for long!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 19 July 2018
Trump’s comments follow an interview the President gave with CBS in Scotland last week, in which he called the EU a “foe” when it comes to trade. “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.”
The European Commission has warned Google that if it isn’t compliant within 90 days it faces penalty payments of up to five percent of the average daily worldwide turnover of parent company Alphabet. The company is appealing the decision, which will likely see the case drag on for some time.
Trump is set to meet with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker next week. The pair will be discussing a number of issues, one of which will no doubt be the Google fine.