London, September 14
A top court largely rejected Google’s appeal of a record European Union antitrust fine imposed for throttling competition and reducing consumer choice through the dominance of its mobile Android operating system. It marks another win for EU regulators taking a global lead in controlling the power of big tech companies.
The European Court of Justice’s General Court mostly confirmed a 2018 decision by the EU’s executive Commission to slap Google with a fine of over $3.99 billion.
Big win for eUROPEAN regulators
- The European Commission said Google’s practices restrict competition and reduce choices for consumers
- It said Google broke rules by asking phone makers to take a bundle of apps and prevented them from selling devices with altered versions of Android
“In order to better reflect the gravity and duration of the infringement,” it’s appropriate to give Google a fine of 4.125 billion euros, the court said. That’s slightly lower than the original 4.34 billion euro penalty, with the court saying its reasoning differed “in certain respects” from the commission’s.
“We are disappointed that the Court did not annul the decision in full,” Google said. “Android has created more choice for everyone, not less, and supports thousands of successful businesses in Europe and around the world.” The company has previously argued that free and open-source Android has resulted in low-cost phones and driven competition with its chief rival, Apple. — AP