Google slapped with €4.3bn fine from EC

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Google parent company Alphabet will face a fine of five per cent of daily global revenue if it does not fix up in 90 days

The European Commission (EC) has today (July 18) fined Google a record €4.3 billion (£3.8bn) for illegally cementing its dominant search engine position with Android.

In a statement the EC accused Google of imposing: “Illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators to cement its dominant position in general internet search”.

Google violated antitrust laws from the EC such as:

  • it required manufacturers to pre-install the Google Search app and browser app (Chrome), as a condition for licensing Google’s app store (the Play Store);
  • made payments to certain large manufacturers and mobile network operators on condition that they exclusively pre-installed the Google Search app on their devices
  • prevented manufacturers wishing to pre-install Google apps from selling even a single smart mobile device running on alternative versions of Android that were not approved by Google (so-called “Android forks”).

Google parent firm Alphabet has 90 days to revamp business practices or be fined up to five per cent of average global daily turnover. Cash reserves totalled almost $103bn at the end of March. Alphabet plans to appeal the decision.

EC competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement: “They (Google) have denied European consumers the benefits of effective competition in the important mobile sphere. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules.”

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