Google in Court to Appeal EU’s 2018 Android Antitrust Case.
Google will appeal a record EU antitrust penalty levied for limiting competition via its Android operating system dominance to a top European Union court on Monday.
The firm is appealing a 2018 judgment by the EU’s executive Commission,
the bloc’s top antitrust enforcer, which resulted in a punishment of 4.34 billion euros ($5 billion) – the largest ever levied by Brussels for anticompetitive conduct.
Between 2017 and 2019, the EU slapped Google with three antitrust fines totaling more than $8 billion.
The other companies concentrated on shopping and searching,
but the California firm is appealing to all three. While the fines were substantial,
opponents argue that Google can easily pay them and that the fines have done nothing to increase competition.
The commission said in its initial judgment that Google’s tactics stifle competition and limit consumer choice.
Google, on the other hand,
intends to claim that the open-source Android operating system has resulted in lower-cost phones and increased competition with Apple.
“Android has given people more options, not less, and has helped thousands of companies succeed in Europe and across the globe.
As the five-day trial before the European Court of Justice’s General Court begins, the firm said,
“This lawsuit is not supported by the facts or the law.”
The European Commission did not respond to a request for comment.
Android is the most prevalent mobile operating system in Europe,
surpassing Apple’s iOS, and is installed on four out of every five smartphones.
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The Commission found that Google violated EU regulations by forcing smartphone manufacturers to accept a bundle of Google applications if they wanted any
and prohibiting them from selling smartphones with modified versions of Android.
The package includes 11 applications, including YouTube, Maps, and Gmail,
but regulators concentrated on the three with the most market share: Google Search, Chrome,
and the company’s app store, Play Store.
Because Android is open-source and free, Google believes that phone manufacturers and users may choose which applications to put on their devices.
Because Google is the sole company responsible for creating and supporting Android,
it must find a method to recover its expenses.
Its answer is to add revenue-generating applications, such as Search and Chrome.
The firm also claims that just because its applications are pre-installed on Android phones doesn’t mean consumers can’t download competing apps.
Google’s payments to cellular carriers and phone manufacturers to exclusively pre-install the Google Search app were also criticized by the Commission.
However, Google said that since the agreements accounted for less than 5% of the market, they couldn’t reasonably harm competitors.
Following the decision, Google made several adjustments to address the problems,
including offering European Android users the option of using a different browser and search app,
as well as charging device manufacturers to pre-install its applications.
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