European justice confirms the largest antitrust fine in the history of Google: 4,125 million euros

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Hard blow to Google in Europe. The General Court of the European Union (CJEU) confirmed this Wednesday a fine imposed by the European Commission in 2018 for infringement of competition in the market for mobile operating systems and search services. The sanction, however, has been slightly reduced: goes from 4,343 million euros to 4,125 millionalthough it is still the largest in the company’s history by monopoly.

According to The Wall Street JournalThe fine is part of a trio of antitrust investigations against Google that have resulted in more than €8 billion in penalties to date. This is the second time the Mountain View giant has been defeated in Brussels. About a year ago, the company missed the last chance it had to avoid paying a €2.42 billion penalty imposed in 2017.

Why have Google been fined this time?

The most recent sanction against Google has as its axis the abuse of the company’s dominant position. According to Brussels, the company offered its mobile applications and services as a package, which prevented individual manufacturers from accessing license to use the Play Store. In other words, they were forced to also include the Google Search browser and the Google Chrome browser on their devices.

In the eyes of European regulators, Google has created this scheme to ensure that Android phone makers pre-install these three apps. The consequence? Reduce manufacturers’ incentives to pre-install competitor search and navigation applications, as well as affect users’ incentives. Hence the illegal links to Google Search, Google Chrome and the Play Store.

Google Android Adrien K12srkazucg Unsplash

Since then, Google has implemented a series of changes to please Brussels. The Android developer announced the launch of Choice Screen or selection screen, an option that would allow users to easily change the default search engine of your mobile operating system. For this, a system of quarterly auctions was proposed, although, remember, DudDuckGo accused the method of being “defective”.

Regarding the reduction of the fine, this movement of the CJEU is due to the fact that the Justice annulled one of the elements of the case that alleged that Google paid some manufacturers to exclusively install its search engine, leaving aside the alternatives of the competition. As a result, the court reduced the total penalty by approximately 5% to €4.125 million.

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Google, however, has one more chance to try to avoid paying this fine. The ruling can still be appealed to the highest court in the European Union.. However, the company has decided to take its time to analyze how it will continue with this matter. Regulators around the world seem more proactive in recent times. The Mountain View giant knows this and is making some internal moves to avoid future lawsuits, like moving its advertising division to Alphabet.

Images | Alex Doubt | Adrian (Unsplash)

Hard blow to Google in Europe. The General Court of the European Union (CJEU) confirmed this Wednesday a fine imposed…

Hard blow to Google in Europe. The General Court of the European Union (CJEU) confirmed this Wednesday a fine imposed…

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