Google fined a record $5 billion in Android antitrust case

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said on Wednesday that Google went against EU rules when it required mobile phone makers to pre-install the Google Search and browser apps. Google fined a record $5 billion in Android antitrust case.

The European Union antitrust regulators has fined Google a record $5 billion (4.34 billion euros) for abusing the market dominance of its Android mobile phone operating system.

Google fined a record $5 billion in Android antitrust case

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said on Wednesday that Google went against EU rules when it required mobile phone makers to pre-install the Google Search and browser apps as a condition for licensing Google’s app store.

She said Google also paid big phone makers to exclusively pre-install the Google Search app.

Google fined a record $5 billion in Android antitrust case

Vestager said that “companies must compete on their merits,” playing by antitrust rules that favor consumers and open markets, and not restrict competition.

Google has now been ordered to end the illegal conduct within 90 days or face additional penalties of up to 5% of parent Alphabet’s average daily worldwide turnover.

The Internet giant however has said that instead of restricting competition, it did the opposite. “Android has created more choice for everyone, not less,” said Google spokesman Al Verney. “We will appeal the Commission’s decision,” he added.

Google fined a record $5 billion in Android antitrust case

The EU’s fine is the biggest ever imposed on a company for anticompetitive behavior.

Wednesday’s ruling caps an investigation that goes back at least three years. Regulators came out with a preliminary ruling in April 2016 in which they said Google had market shares exceeding 90% in most European countries in the realm of licensable mobile operating systems, and abused that share by forcing manufacturers to take its apps and by preventing them from selling altered versions of Android, which is technically open-source software.

In June 2017, regulators already fined Google $2.7 billion for favoring its shopping listings in search results.

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