After losing Wednesday’s court appeal, Google may be required to pay an unprecedented EUR4.125 billion ($4.12billion) to the European Union for an antitrust case related to its Android operating system. This is likely to strengthen the bloc’s ability crackdown on tech companies.
The General Court of the European Court of Justice ruled that the EU executive commission’s 2018 decision of penalizing Google should be upheld. However, it reduced the fine by only slightly from EUR4.34 billion down to EUR4.125 billion because its reasoning was different to the commission’s.
According to the court’s ruling, Google “imposed illegal restrictions” on Android smartphone manufacturers “in order consolidate its dominant position in search engines.”
1.The court’s decision is in line with the 2018 ruling by the European Commission. This ruling required that Android device manufacturers agree to preinstall Google Search and Google Play Store, and to not use unlicensed versions developed by third parties.
2.The EUR4.125 Billion fine is one of many antitrust penalties Google faces in Europe. Others include a EUR2.42 Billion fine for favoring Google’s shopping services and a EUR1.49 Billion fine for abusing Google’s dominance in online advertisement.
3.Google has the option to appeal this case to the EU’s Court of Justice. This is the top court in the bloc, but it’s not clear if that will happen.
4.Forbes reached out to Google in an attempt to comment on the court’s decision.
The Wednesday ruling will likely encourage the European Commission’s expansion of its anti-American tech dominance crackdown, including Amazon, Apple, and Meta. The commission is currently investigating Apple’s 30% App Store Commission and its alleged abuses of its dominance within the music streaming space. The commission is also looking into possible antitrust abuse by Meta and Google in the online advertisement business, and Amazon’s business practices. The European Parliament approved two sets sweeping rules to combat the dominance by big tech companies – the Digital Markets Act (and the Digital Services Act).