You have to give one thing to Facebook Inc: Confronted by a torrent of accusations of misbehaviour over the past 12 months, the world’s largest social network has at least made the effort to be conciliatory. The same cannot be said about Alphabet Inc’s Google. The European Commission will this week reveal the punishment for the search giant’s practice of forcing smartphone-makers to install its suite of apps on devices running on its Android operating system. The size of the financial penalty – likely to be in the billions of euros – will be largely irrelevant. Alphabet has $103bn in cash reserves, so a fine won’t make too much of a dent. But how Brussels forces Google to unbundle its apps will be significant. As it stands, if a smartphone maker such as Samsung Electronics wants to put the Google Play Store on its devices to give users access to more apps, the search giant forces them to install its Chrome browser too. That’s crucial to Google’s ads business because the web browser ...

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