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Google to unveil new hardware amid anti-trust concerns


Google to unveil new hardware amid anti-trust concerns

A phone taking a photo of a Google logo
A phone taking a photo of a Google logo
Photo: Eric Gaillard/Reuters

Google will roll out a new line of hardware today, including its next-generation smartphone Pixel 2.

While the first Pixel was relatively unsuccessful, Google’s stab at the smartphone market has raised concerns that it will pursue a monopoly similar to the one it already has in search engines.

While such a scenario may seem far-fetched, given the strength of smartphone makers like Samsung and Apple, the tech giant has faced a number of antitrust charges in recent years.

In the latest example, the California-based company is embroiled in an EU antitrust case that alleges it incentivised Android manufactures to pre-load Google apps like YouTube and Google Maps. If Google were to successfully strengthen its position in the smartphone market, it could easily engage in similar tactics.

Even in the regulation-lax United States, the political winds are beginning to shift. In July, the Democratic Party put antitrust measures at the centre of its “Better Deal” policy platform.

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Google’s eager expansion into hardware comes at precisely the wrong time for the company. As increased anti-monopoly sentiment raises scrutiny of the tech giant, regulators will be ready to pounce at the slightest hint of malpractice.

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