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Google appeals the EU’s record-breaking $5bn antitrust fine against Android

Back in July, the European Commission found Google guilty of indulging in anti-competitive behaviour, forcing Android manufacturers to adopt Google’s search engine and browser by default. This resulted in an unprecedented €4.34bn (£3.8bn/$5bn) fine, which the firm has now officially begun to appeal.

The decision was made following two years-worth of investigation surrounding Google’s Android practices. During that time, it was uncovered that Google had supposedly arranged payments to some manufacturers and network operators to exclusively pre-install the firm’s services such as Search and Chrome by default. Those that weren’t paid off were strong-armed into making the same choice, with the access to the Play Store being held hostage.

Europe’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager criticised how closed the supposedly open-source platform is, stating that the company “could have provided a platform for rival search engines as well as other app developers to thrive.” Google refuted this, claiming that “Android has created more choice for everyone, not less” by licensing its operating system for free.

Google’s lawyers could be hard at work for years to come battling the decision, as the firm tells Reuters that it has “now filed our appeal of the EC’s Android decision at the General Court of the EU.” A final appeal is possible at the Court of Justice of the European Union, otherwise known as Europe’s top court, but this has to concern points of law.

KitGuru Says: Google’s primary source of income from Android is the hits off its Search and Chrome applications, given that the operating system itself is free. If Android manages to whether the catastrophic damage it could take from a ruling against it, it would be interesting to see what direction Google would take the operating system in the fallout.

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