Alphabet subsidiary, Google, has appealed the record $5 billion fine EU regulators imposed on the tech firm earlier this year.
“We have now filed our appeal of the EC’s Android decision at the General Court of the EU,” Google said in an email to Reuters.
Google’s main argument against the fine is basically that Android has in fact given consumers more choice, not less.
Why was the fine issued?
The Commission said in its July decision that Google violated its antitrust regulations in three different ways. It required manufacturers to include Google Search and Chrome on their Android devices, paid them to pre-install Search exclusively and prevented manufacturers from selling devices with Android forks it hadn’t approved. The Commission said these actions “denied rival search engines the possibility to compete.”
As FileHippo reported back in July, “European Union Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager issued the fine for three “illegal restrictions” on how Android is used. “It has cemented the dominance of its search engine,” Vestager tweeted. She continued to say Google has been “denying rivals a chance to innovate and compete on the merits…With market dominance comes responsibility,” she explained.
“Google is entitled to set technical requirements to ensure that functionality and apps within its own ecosystem run smoothly, but these technical requirements cannot serve as a smokescreen to prevent the development of competing Android ecosystems,” Vestager said during a press conference in July. “Google cannot have its cake and eat it.”
EU regulators contend that the tech giant’s illegal practices include forcing manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and its Chrome browser together with its Google Play app store on their Android devices.
Don’t be expecting a quick turn around though. The case is remarkably complex, and as neither side seems to be for turning anytime soon, it could all take several years before European Judges’ rule on the case.