Google said it will appeal against a record 4.34 billion euro ($5.04 billion) fine levied by EU antitrust regulators on 18 July over illegal restrictions on Android smartphone makers and mobile network operators.
“Android has created more choice for everyone, not less,” Google spokesman Al Verney said. “A vibrant ecosystem, rapid innovation, and lower prices are classic hallmarks of robust competition. We will appeal the Commission’s decision.”
The penalty is nearly double the previous record of €2.4 billion which the US tech company was ordered to pay last year over its online shopping search service.
The fine represents just over two weeks of revenue for Google parent Alphabet and would scarcely dent its cash reserves of $102.9 billion. But it could add to a brewing trade war between Brussels and Washington.
Fine of €4,34 bn to @Google for 3 types of illegal restrictions on the use of Android. In this way it has cemented the dominance of its search engine. Denying rivals a chance to innovate and compete on the merits. It’s illegal under EU antitrust rules. @Google now has to stop it
— Margrethe Vestager (@vestager) July 18, 2018
The head of the US Federal Trade Commission, which has investigated Alphabet’s Google in the past for abuse of web dominance, said on 18 July he would take a close look at Europe’s recent decision to fine the company.
The judgment has invited more competition from software developers including Microsoft, Amazon, and Samsung Electronics, but still leaves them at a disadvantage, industry executives and analysts told Reuters.
With inputs from Reuters