EU hits Google with $5bn fine for breaking competition rules


The European Union slapped Google with a record $5bn fine for using its Android smartphone system to illegally boost its search engine – the biggest anti-trust penalty in EU history.

Google immediately said it would appeal the massive fine.

Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner, announced the stiff penalty on Wednesday saying the US tech giant forced – and in some cases paid – major phone makers to pre-install its search engine and Google Chrome browser.

The company also limited the ability of manufacturers to sell phones running alternative versions of Android.

“Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine,” Vestager said in a statement. “This is illegal under EU anti-trust rules.”

The company, however, said instead of restricting competition it did the opposite.

“Android has created more choice for everyone, not less,” said Google spokesman Al Verney. “We will appeal the commission’s decision.”

The commission also ordered Google to end the illegal conduct within 90 days or face additional penalties of up to 5 percent of parent Alphabet’s average daily worldwide turnover.

Wednesday’s ruling came a year after the EU’s enforcer handed down a $2.7bn fine on Google for favouring its shopping service over rivals.

Source: Al Jazeera News

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