When the dust settles, Alphabet/Google’s (GOOGL) antitrust battles with the EU could hurt its bottom line some. But it’s pretty unlikely that the impact will be disastrous.
The disputes are getting fresh attention after it was learned that CBS’s newsmagazine 60 Minutes will air a segment on Sunday about Google’s perceived anticompetitive behavior — a segment that will include remarks from European Commission (EC) chief Margrethe Vestager. In 2016, the EC charged Google with abusing the dominant market positions of Google Search and Android in several ways.
The Android portion of the dispute could hurt Google by giving smartphone makers leverage to demand higher ad revenue-sharing payments in exchange for making Google the default search engine on their phones. The huge payments Google has been making to Apple (AAPL) in order to be the default search engine for the Safari browser and iOS’s core search feature drive home how costly such deals can be when an OEM has full freedom to choose alternatives.
However, the fact that Google is believed to have a 90%-plus European search share would give it some leverage of its own in talks. And it’s worth keeping in mind that only about 30% of Google’s revenue comes from the EMEA region, with a portion of that revenue coming from non-EU countries. Moreover, that portion will rise in 2019 when the U.K. leaves the EU thanks to Brexit.
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Jim Cramer and the AAP team hold positions in Apple and Alphabet for their Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio . Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells AAPL or GOOGL? Learn more now .
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