EU court upholds antitrust ruling against Google - British Herald
September 30, 2022
Business IN UK 01 Tech

EU court upholds antitrust ruling against Google, trims fine to $4.12 billion

  • The dispute between Google and the EU courts is over whether it uses the Android operating system to quash competition, and was initiated against the company in 2015.
  • The court said it “largely confirms the European Commission’s decision that Google imposed unlawful restrictions on manufacturers of Android mobile devices and mobile network operators to consolidate the dominant position of its search engine.”

The European Union’s General Court on Wednesday upheld an antitrust ruling against Google’s parent company Alphabet but reduced its fine to 4.125 billion euros ($4.12 billion) from 4.34 billion euros.

The dispute between Google and the EU courts is over whether it uses the Android operating system to quash competition, and was initiated against the company in 2015.

The court said it “largely confirms the European Commission’s decision that Google imposed unlawful restrictions on manufacturers of Android mobile devices and mobile network operators to consolidate the dominant position of its search engine.”

The initial fine was issued by the European Commission in 2018 and was the largest ever received by Google. It said that around 80% of Europeans used Android and that Google gave an unfair advantage to its apps, such as Chrome and Search, by forcing smartphone markets to pre-install them in a bundle with its app store, Play.

In Wednesday’s judgment, the General Court said the new fine was “appropriate in view of the significance of the infringement.”

It highlighted that Google’s business model “is based first and foremost on increasing the numbers of users of its online search services so that it can sell its online advertising services,” whereas Apple focuses on the sale of higher-end smart mobile devices.

Google argues that this allows it to keep the majority of its services free.

The company can still appeal the ruling in the EU’s highest court.

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