EU court upholds $4bn fine against Google for ‘suppressing competitors’ through Android

The second-highest court of the European Union maintained the EU’s record fine against Google over its Android mobile operating system, only marginally lowering the cost due to technical considerations.

On Wednesday, the EU’s General Court issued a statement saying it “largely confirms the commission’s decision that Google imposed unlawful restrictions on manufacturers of Android mobile devices” to benefit its search engine.

However, the court ruled that instead of the 4.3 billion euros, the commission had settled upon in 2018 after considering the length of the violation, the sentence should be somewhat reduced to 4.125 billion euros.

Despite Google’s assertions that the commission’s case was unjustified and incorrectly based on accusations that it forced its search engine and Chrome browser on Android phones, the levy continues to be the largest ever imposed by the EU.

Additionally, Google argued that the EU was unreasonably oblivious to Apple’s power, which imposes or clearly prefers its own services like Safari on iPhones.

Google argued that customers were not forced to use its products on Android and that downloading competing apps was merely a click away.

In response, the EU and complainants claimed that during the early stages of Android, Google utilized agreements with phone manufacturers to suppress competitors.

The General Court’s ruling does not mark the end of the matter. Both parties may appeal the $5 billion-equivalent penalties in the European Court of Justice, the highest court in the EU, for a final decision.