Google is heading to a top European Union court Monday to appeal a record EU antitrust penalty imposed for stifling competition through the dominance of its Android OS . the corporate is fighting a 2018 decision from the EU’s executive Commission, the bloc’s top antitrust enforcer, that resulted within the 4.34 billion-euro ($5 billion) fine — still the most important ever fine Brussels has imposed for anticompetitive behavior.
It’s one among three antitrust penalties totaling quite $8 billion that the commission hit Google with between 2017 and 2019. The others focused on shopping and search, and therefore the California company is appealing to all three. While the penalties involved huge sums, critics mean that Google can easily afford them which the fines haven’t done much to widen competition.
In its original decision, the commission said Google’s practices restrict competition and reduce choices for consumers. Google, however, plans to argue that free and open-source Android has led to lower-priced phones and spurred competition with its chief rival, Apple. “Android has created more choice for everybody, not less, and supports thousands of successful businesses in Europe and around the world. This case isn’t supported by the facts or the law,” the corporate said because the five-day hearing opens at the ECU Court of Justice’s General Court.
The EU Commission declined to comment. Android is that the hottest mobile OS, beating even Apple’s iOS, and is found on four out of 5 devices in Europe. The Commission ruled that Google broke EU rules by requiring smartphone makers to require a bundle of Google apps if they wanted any in the least, and prevented them from selling devices with altered versions of Android. The bundle contains 11 apps, including YouTube, Maps, and Gmail, but regulators focused on the three that had the most important market share: Google Search, Chrome, and therefore the company’s Play Store for apps. Google’s position is that because Android is open source and free, phone makers or consumers can decide for themselves which apps to put in on their devices. and since it is the just one bearing the prices of developing and maintaining Android, Google has got to find ways to recoup that expense, so its solution is to incorporate apps which will generate revenue, namely Search and Chrome.
The company also argues that simply because its apps come pre-installed on Android phones, it doesn’t mean users are excluded from downloading rival services. The Commission also took issue with Google’s payments to wireless carriers and phone makers to exclusively pre-install the Google Search app. But Google said those deals amounted to but 5% of the market, in order that they couldn’t possibly hurt rivals. Following the ruling, Google made some changes to deal with the problems, including giving European Android users a choice of browser and search app and charging device makers to pre-install its apps.