Google Fined $5 Billion by EU for Android Antitrust Violations, Will Appeal

July 18, 2018 Updated: July 18, 2018    

On July 18, the European Commision fined Google 4.34 billion euro ($5 billion U.S.) for breaking EU antitrust laws in its abuse of the Android market in blocking rival companies.

The record high amount is almost double a previous fine of 2.4 billion euros which the technology company was ordered to pay last year for promoting their own shopping service over others. The current fine represents over two weeks of revenue for Google parent, Alphabet Inc.

Alphabet has since said they will appeal the decision.

The commission argued that Google unfairly, and even illegally, used its Android market dominance in three main areas. The first, bundling its search engine and Chrome apps into the system. Secondly, it’s hefty payments to other large device manufactures to exclusively pre-install Google Search. Lastly, it’s “illegal obstruction” that prevented device manufacturers from using any other alternative version of Android that was not approved by Google.

Google was ordered to end all such conduct within 90 days or face further penalty payments.

“These practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on the merits,” European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said. “This is illegal under EU antitrust rules.”

Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai disagreed with the commission’s order in a blog statement.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai delivers the keynote address at the Google I/O 2018 Conference at Shoreline Amphitheater on May 8, 2018 in Mountain View, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

“We are concerned that today’s decision will upset the careful balance that we have stuck with Android and that it sends a troubling signal in favor of proprietary systems over open platforms,” Pichai wrote.

“Rapid innovation, wide choice, and falling prices are classic hallmarks of robust competition and Android has enabled all of them… We intend to appeal.”

President of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, will meet President Donald Trump at the White House on July 25 in a bid to avoid new tariffs on EU cars over Trump’s comments on the U.S. trade deficit.

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