Google challenges $5B European Union antitrust fine

Google appeals EU's $5 billion fine over Android antitrust practices

Google challenges record $5 billion EU antitrust fine

Google has launched an appeal against the $5 billion fine it received in July for abusing its control of the Android ecosystem in the European Union.

The Alphabet Inc. -owned search giant said it has filed a legal appeal against the record-breaking fine.

The EU's executive Commission issued the fine in July after it found Google forced smartphone makers using Android to install the company's search and browser apps. Although market dominance is not an illegal practice under European Union antitrust laws, regulators said dominant companies like Google have a "special responsibility" to ensure that competition is not restricted.

"They have denied European consumers the benefits of effective competition in the important mobile sphere".

In his response, Pichai argued that users can easily install alternatives to Google's pre-loaded apps, and that not all of its Android partners come with pre-installed Google apps, citing Amazon's Fire devices. And it paid manufacturers to make Google Search the default search engine on their devices.

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.

The decision, according to the Google CEO, ignored the fact that Android phones compete with iOS phones.

"We have now filed our appeal of the EC's Android decision at the General Court of the EU", Google said in an email.

The EU decision "rejects the business model that supports Android, which has created more choice for everyone, not less", Mr Pichai added in a blog post.

A story on Sky News suggests that Google has simply asked ad agencies to set up fake companies to sell goods, and advertise in the spaces previously occupied exclusively by Google, thus giving an impression of competition.

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