The General Court of the European Union maintained an antitrust judgement against Alphabet, the parent company of Google, on Wednesday but cut its penalties from 4.34 billion euros to 4.125 billion euros ($4.12 billion).
Google is embroiled in a legal conflict with the EU courts about whether the business utilises the Android operating system to stifle competition. The case was brought against Google in 2015.
According to the court, the ruling “essentially upholds the European Commission’s finding that Google imposed illegal limitations on makers of Android mobile devices and mobile network operators to strengthen the dominating position of its search engine.”
Google stated, “We are unhappy that the Court did not fully annul the ruling,” in a statement given to Reuters. Android has increased choice for all users, not decreased it, and it supports thousands of globally and in Europe profitable enterprises.
The initial fine, which was the highest one ever paid by Google, was imposed by the European Commission in 2018. Around 80% of Europeans, according to the report, use Android, and Google forced smartphone markets to pre-install its programmes, such Chrome and Search, as part of a bundle with its app store, Play, giving them an unfair edge.
According to Google, Android phones compete with Apple’s iOS phones and yet provide users the option to choose their phone manufacturer, mobile network provider, and other apps to install in place of Google ones.
The General Court declared the additional fine to be “reasonable in view of the significance of the infraction” in its decision on Wednesday.
It was emphasised that Apple focuses on the selling of more expensive smart mobile devices, but Google’s business strategy “is built first and foremost on increasing the numbers of users of its online search services so that it may sell its online advertising services.”
Google contends that doing so enables it to continue offering most of its services at no cost.
The firm can still challenge the decision in the highest court of the EU.