Google has received a fine of 4.125 billion euros ($4.13B) by the EU’s General Court for abusing its market power and preventing competition.
In 2018, the European Commission levied a record-breaking fine of 4.34 billion euros ($5.1 billion) against the company, and the tech giant appealed the decision.
“The General Court largely confirms the Commission’s decision that Google imposed unlawful restrictions on manufacturers of Android mobile devices and mobile network operators in order to consolidate the dominant position of its search engine,” the General Court said.
While the company lost its appeal, the General Court reduced the fine to 4.125 billion euros ($4.12 billion), which is still the highest amount of fine imposed by a European competition authority so far.
“In order better to reflect the gravity and duration of the infringement, the General Court considers it appropriate however to impose a fine of 4.125 billion euros on Google, its reasoning differing in certain respects from that of the Commission,” the judges said.
Google repeatedly argued that it’s not the market dominator and the Commission was ‘’downplaying the potent constraint imposed by the highly powerful Apple’’.
The court said on Wednesday that ‘’the ‘non-licensable’ operating systems exclusively used by vertically integrated developers, like Apple’s iOS or Blackberry, are not part of the same market, given that third-party manufacturers of mobile devices cannot obtain licences for them.’’
A Google spokesperson 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.”
Google still has the right to appeal the decision of the General Court to the European Court of Justice.
Today, South Korea’s Personal Information Protection Commission also fined Google and Meta billions of won over privacy law violations.