Google challenges $5 bn EU antitrust fine in Android case

  • Google challenges $5 bn EU antitrust fine in Android case

Google challenges $5 bn EU antitrust fine in Android case

The Commission's ruling gave Google 90 days to end the anti-competitive behaviours or face additional penalty.

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.

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 US, meaning the company may soon be fighting regulators on two fronts.

The EU antitrust authorities said the company also paid manufacturers to pre-install only Google Search and blocked them from using rival Android systems.

"Our case is about three types of restrictions that Google has imposed on Android device manufacturers and network operators to ensure that traffic on Android devices goes to the Google search engine", said Commissioner Margrethe Vestager who is in charge of competition policy. "This is illegal under European Union antitrust rules", Vestager added. Android, used by device makers for free, is found on about 80 percent of the world's smartphones.

In a statement to Reuters, Google said it had "filed our appeal of the EC's Android decision at the General Court of the European Union".

In July, Google chief executive officer Sundar Pichai refuted the accusations, arguing that the decision ignores the fact that Android phones compete with Apple phones that run on iOS with their own pre-installed apps.

The sanction almost doubled the previous record European Union antitrust fine of €2.4 billion, which also targeted Google, in that case for the Silicon Valley titan's shopping comparison service in 2017.

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