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Google appeals record $6.9 billion EU fine over Android

Google appeals record 4.3 billion EU fine over Android

The tech giant has appealed the biggest anti-trust fine ever imposed on it by the EU, a penalty for illegally abusing the dominance of its operating system for mobile devices

Google, the largest subsidiary of Alphabet, stated to Reuters that it had filed an appeal at the General Court of the EU, which sits in Luxembourg.

Also, in an e-mail to AFP, Google spokesman Al Verney confirmed the same, stating: “we have now filed our appeal of the European Commission’s Android decision at the General Court of the European Union.”

The EU’s antitrust regulator, the European Commission, stated in July that the record fine was in response to Google “breaching EU antitrust rules” by imposing “illegal restrictions” on Android device makers and mobile network operators in order to bolster Google’s search engine.

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager had ordered Google to “put an effective end to this conduct within 90 days or face penalty payments” of up to 5% of its average daily turnover.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai in the same month, had refuted the accusations and had argued that the decision ignored the fact that Android phones compete with Apple phones that run on iOS with their own pre-installed apps.

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

According to industry-tracker Gartner, Android dominated the smartphone market with a share of 85.9% last year, to around 14% for Apple’s iOS.

The sanction nearly doubled the previous record EU antitrust fine of $2.7 billion, which also targeted Google, in that case for the Silicon Valley titan’s shopping comparison service in 2017.

The case has managed to take relevance closer to home—a Justice Department official told a US Senate panel last week that US regulators could look at some of the practices that resulted in the European sanctions. The practices European regulators cited as anti-competitive have gone on since 2011.

These practices include a requirement that device makers pre-install Google’s search app and Chrome browser in exchange for the right to offer access to the Google Play Store on their products, according to the commission – which also made claims that Google made payments to device makers and mobile network operators to exclusively pre-install Google’s search app, which prevented them from using Android versions not approved by Google.

Roughly 80% of devices in Europe run Android, according to the commission.

In the US, Google’s mobile OS market share is around 55%, according to the Statista, a market research portal.

Google did not respond to a CRN USA request for comment by publication time.

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