Airship

Google fails in bid to overturn EU's €4.34bn Android fine, but sees it reduced slightly

David Murphy

Google has failed in its bid to overturn a overturn €4.34bn (£3.76bn), imposed by the EU, for abusing its dominant position by imposing restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators.

The case dates back to April 2016, when the European Commission sent a Statement of Objections to Google on the Android operating system and applications. This informed the company of its preliminary view that the company has, in breach of EU antitrust rules,.

Specifically, the Commission accused Google of requiring Android device makers to set Google as the default search engine on the device, and to pre-install the Chrome browser, before allowing them to offer access to its Play app store. It also accused the tech giant of preventing manufacturers from selling mobile devices powered by rival operating systems based on Android's open source code. And thirdly, of giving device makers and mobile operators financial incentives to provide Google’s search service as the sole pre-installed option.

The
General Court upheld the ruling earlier today, saying it “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 size of the fine has been reduced, however, to €4.125bn “in order better to reflect the gravity and duration of the infringement… its [Google’s] reasoning differing in certain respects from that of the Commission.”

Google said it was "disappointed" by the verdict. "Android has created more choice for everyone, not less, and supports thousands of successful businesses in Europe and around the world," the company said in a statement.