Trump used the EU's $5 billion fine on Google as another missile in his trade war

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President Donald Trump speaks following a meeting on infrastructure at Trump Tower.

  • US President Donald Trump tweeted that the EU's record $5 billion fine of Google was a sign the bloc had "taken advantage of the U.S."
  • Trump described Google as "one of our great companies."
  • The president appeared to be using the antitrust fine as a salvo in his escalating trade war with the EU.
  • Trump is due to meet with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker next week to discuss trade.

US President Donald Trump criticised the European competition watchdog's decision to fine Google $5 billion on Wednesday, saying the EU had "taken advantage of the U.S."

He wrote on Twitter on Thursday: "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!"

Trump appeared to be using the antitrust fine as a weapon in his ongoing trade war with the European Union. On Wednesday, he threatened "tremendous retribution" against the EU unless the bloc agrees to substantial trade concessions.

It coincides with the European Commissioner for Competition's decision to fine Google the biggest antitrust penalty levelled on a single company, over its abuse of its dominant Android mobile operating system. Margrethe Vestager said Google had used its popular mobile software to protect its position in search. The investigation began in 2015, pre-dating Trump's presidency by more than a year, and is not immediately relevant to US-EU trade.

But Trump is escalating his rhetoric against the union, describing the EU as a "foe" of the US. Trump slapped tariffs on steel and aluminium imported from the EU, and is considering extending these to include imported cars.

The president is due to conduct crunch talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at the White House next week, where he could choose to bring up the Google fine again.

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