One of the European Union’s highest courts has largely upheld a huge fine issued to Google by the bloc’s anti-competition watchdog.
The fine, of 4.125 billion euros (£3.5 billion) was issued in 2018 over the tech giant’s Android mobile operating system.
The European Court of Justice’s General Court mostly confirmed a European Commission decision to slap Google with a fine of more than four billion euro for stifling competition through the dominance of Android.
The court said it was appropriate to impose a fine of 4.125 billion euro (£3.5 billion) on Google, slightly lower than the original 4.34 billion euro penalty.
The court said its reasoning for the decision differed ‘in certain respects’ from the Commission’s.
The fine is one of three anti-competition penalties totalling more than eight billion euro (£6.9 billion) that the European Commission imposed on Google with between 2017 and 2019.
In its original decision, the Commission said Google’s practices restrict competition and reduce choices for consumers.
It determined that Google broke EU rules by requiring smartphone makers to take a bundle of Google apps if they wanted any at all, and prevented them from selling devices with altered versions of Android.
The bundle contained 11 apps, including YouTube, Maps and Gmail, but regulators focused on the three that had the biggest market share: Google Search, Chrome and the company’s Play Store for apps.
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