Google files appeal of $5 billion European Union fine

Marco Green
October 11, 2018

Google is challenging the $5 billion (4.34 billion euros) fine by the European Commission for its alleged use of "illegal practices" to push Android apps on smartphone customers.

This means Google is now appealing two massive antitrust fines in the EU-the other fine, totalling $2.7 billion, was handed down in mid-2017 as punishment for Google's abuse of its search-engine market dominance. Although market dominance is not an illegal practice under European Union antitrust laws, regulators said dominant companies like Google have a "special responsibility" to ensure that competition is not restricted.

According to the New York Post, the Department of Justice is also looking into starting an investigation into Google's abuse of its Android monopoly in U.S., meaning the company may soon be fighting regulators on two fronts.

Back in July, the European Commission found Google guilty of indulging in anti-competitive behaviour, forcing Android manufacturers to adopt Google's search engine and browser by default. "This is illegal under European Union antitrust rules", Vestager added.

In its July decision, Brussels accused Google of using the Android system's huge popularity on smartphones and tablets to promote the use of its own Google search engine and shut out rivals.

The company made payments to certain large manufacturers and mobile network operators on condition that they exclusively pre-installed the Google Search app on their devices.

The decision, according to the Google CEO, ignored the fact that Android phones compete with iOS phones.

The EU decision "rejects the business model that supports Android, which has created more choice for everyone, not less", Mr Pichai added in a blog post.

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Other reports by Click Lancashire

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