Google illegally used Android, fined $5B by EU

Avatar By Le Williams | 2 years ago

The European Commission today fined Google $5 billion for violating EU antitrust rules, maintaining that “Google has imposed illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators to connect its dominant position in general Internet search.”

The commission said that Google is violating antitrust law by requiring phone manufacturers to pre-install the Google search app and Chrome browser “as a condition for licensing Google’s app store (the Play Store).”

Google also violated EU antitrust rules by making “payments to certain large manufacturers and mobile network operators on condition that they exclusively pre-installed the Google Search app on their devices,” the commission said.

Allegedly, the company neglected EU rules by preventing manufacturers from using Android streams. Google “has prevented manufacturers wishing to pre-install Google apps from selling even a single smart mobile device running on alternative versions of Android that were not approved by Google,” the commission added.

DuckDuckGo, a search company that aims to provide more user privacy than Google, commented on the decision via Twitter. “We welcome the EU cracking down on Google’s anti-competitive search behavior. We have felt its effects first hand for many years and has led directly to us having less market share on Android vs iOS and in general mobile vs desktop.”

The commission ordered Google and its parent company, Alphabet, to stop those practices.

However, Google said it would appeal the decision to a European court. “Android has created more choice for everyone, not less,” Google said in a statement to Ars. “A vibrant ecosystem, rapid innovation, and lower prices are classic hallmarks of robust competition.”