The European Union’s second-highest court on Wednesday upheld the European Commission’s 2018 antitrust ruling against Google for using the Android mobile operating system to hold back competition. The General Court confirmed that the search giant imposed illegal restrictions on Android phone manufacturers to promote its search engine. The court reduced its fine by 5 percent to EUR 4.125 billion (roughly Rs. 32,800 crore). Still, this is a record fine for an antitrust violation. The company that owns Alphabet, however, expressed disappointment at the EU court’s ruling.
According to a Report Via Reuters, the EU’s General Court has upheld a 2018 antitrust lawsuit against Google over its use of the Android mobile operating system to squeeze competitors. After the Supreme EU Court reviewed the duration of the infringement, the Commission reduced the fine to EUR 4.125 billion from EUR 4.34 billion (approximately Rs. 34,200 crore) set in 2018. It is still a record fine for an antitrust violation.
“The General Court confirmed the Commission’s decision that Google imposed unlawful restrictions on Android mobile device manufacturers and mobile network operators to strengthen its search engine dominance,” the court said.
“This victory will encourage the commission to implement new rules in the Big Tech, Digital Markets Act,” Thomas Vinje, a lawyer representing the FairSearch industry group, told Reuters.
Google expressed disappointment with the EU court’s ruling. The new decision can be appealed to the EU’s highest court, the Court of Justice.
In its 2018 ruling, the commission accused Google of illegally forcing Android phone makers to pre-condition the Google Search app and the Chrome browser to be licensed to the Google Play Store.