The European Union’s General Court upheld its 2018 decision against Google for abusing its dominant position with Android. But it made a small change to the amount of the fine that people from Mountain View have to pay.
This is bad news for Google in Europe after a 2018 ruling found it abused its Android dominance. Today, the EU’s General Court stated the judgement was “mostly” upheld, but the fiscal penalties for Mountain View was reduced.
The European Commission’s charges
The EU charged Google based on the first antitrust inquiry. The Californian company required Android phone makers to install their apps before accessing the Play Store. Also they paid phone makers and mobile operators to promote their wares.. Also, it stopped companies from making models with third-party operating systems that were based on Android.
In 2018, Android had already taken 80% of the market in Europe. This, regulators say, gave Google free reign to use “illegal tactics” that made it hard for rival companies to do business.
The General Court of the European Union just released its decision, which says that most of the original charges were true. But the final amount of the fine that Google has to pay was changed in a small way. The government has changed its mind about revenue-sharing plans between people in California and companies that make Android phones. They no longer see them as an abuse of power. So, the amount of money they had to pay in fines went down from 4,343 million euros to 4,125 million euros. Even with this 5% cut, the story doesn’t change too much, of course.
Google and Europe are still in a never ending fight
People in Mountain View can still go to the European Court of Justice to try to change the decision. In any case, they have to wait 2 months and 10 days before they can talk about this possibility. This means that the issue between Google and European regulators may not be resolved for a long time. Even though four years have passed, the two sides are still talking about it.
Also, let’s not forget that Google and the EU have been fighting in court for years, even before this case. In 2016, for example, the European Commission fined it more than 2 billion euros for using its Shopping service to abuse its dominant position. The punishment wasn’t set in stone until November 2021.
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Over the past year, regulators have also looked at the ad business of Californians and Meta, including places where Google Assistant might be used a lot.
Google said in a statement that it didn’t agree with the ruling that Android was abusing its position as the market leader. “We’re upset that the Court didn’t completely overturn the decision. Android has given everyone more choices, not less, and it helps thousands of businesses in Europe and all over the world do well “the business said.