The European Union’s General Court upheld an antitrust verdict against Alphabet on Wednesday, but cut the fine to 4.125 billion euros ($4.12 billion) from 4.34 billion euros. The dispute between Google and the EU courts is about whether the corporation utilizes the Android operating system to suppress competition, and it was filed against the company in 2015.
The court stated that it “essentially confirms the European Commission’s finding that Google imposed unlawful limitations on makers of Android mobile devices and mobile network operators in order to consolidate its search engine’s dominating position.”
In a statement provided to CNBC, Google said: “We are disappointed that the Court did not annul the decision in full. Android has created more choice for everyone, not less, and supports thousands of successful businesses in Europe and around the world.” The initial fine was issued by the European Commission in 2018 and was the largest ever for Google. It said that around 80% of Europeans used Android and that Google gave an unfair advantage to its apps, such as Chrome and Search, by forcing smartphone makers to pre-install them in a bundle with its app store, Play.
Google claims that Android phones compete with Apple phones, which use its iOS operating system, and that choosing Android still gives consumers a choice of phone manufacturer, mobile network operator, and the ability to delete Google apps and replace them with others. The General Court stated in its decision on Wednesday that the additional fine was “reasonable in light of the gravity of the infraction.”
It stated that Google’s business strategy is “focused first and foremost on expanding the number of users of its online search services in order to sell its online advertising services,” whereas Apple focuses on the selling of higher-end smart mobile devices. Google claims that this allows them to maintain its dominance.
Read more about this at cnbc.com