Google To Pay €4.12 Billion Fine
Wednesday marked the second setback for Alphabet subsidiary Google in less than a year as Europe’s top court agreed with EU antitrust investigators that it had misused its dominance but reduced the fine by 5% due to a dispute on one issue.
“The General Court largely confirms the Commission’s decision that Google imposed unlawful restrictions on manufacturers of Android mobile devices and mobile network operators in order to consolidate the dominant position of its search engine,” the court said.
“In order better to reflect the gravity and duration of the infringement, the General Court considers it appropriate however to impose a fine of 4.125 billion euros on Google, its reasoning differing in certain respects from that of the Commission,” judges said.
In the first of three lawsuits, Google’s challenge to a 2.42 billion euro ($2.42 billion) fine was unsuccessful last year.
Following failures in cases involving other tech behemoths like Qualcomm and Intel this year, Margrethe Vestager, the head of the EU’s antitrust agency, is encouraged by the verdict.
To establish a level playing field in the 27-nation European Union, the competition chief of the European Commission has taken tough action against Big Tech.
In its 2018 ruling, the Commission stated that Google utilized Android to reinforce its control over general internet search through payments to significant manufacturers and mobile network operators as well as limitations.
In response to criticism that the EU judgment was out of touch with the financial realities of mobile software platforms, Google claimed that it behaved in the same way as countless other businesses and that such payments and agreements help make Android a free operating system.
The parties may appeal on legal issues to the highest court in Europe, the EU Court of Justice.