The General Court of the EU has confirmed the huge fines imposed on Google.
In 2018, the EU Commission fined Google 4.3 billion euros for restricting competition. The size of the fine is a record in the EU.
Google denied the charges and did not agree to pay the fines, but demanded that the matter be heard in the EU General Court. The parties were consulted a year ago in Luxembourg.
The General Court has now made its decision and ordered Google to pay the fines imposed on it. The fine was reduced from the original 4.3 billion euros to 4.1 billion euros.
Google was seen to have violated competition laws with its actions, when it forced, for example, Samsung and other large Android-based players to set Google as the search engine on devices that used Google’s Android operating system.
The judgment of the General Court of the EU stated on Wednesday that Google excluded its competitors from the market to the detriment of consumers. The activity was seen to be harmful in terms of competition, which hindered the “important development of search services”. According to the court, Google was fully aware of the impact of its practices.
Google said it was disappointed by the decision. According to Google, the court should have overturned the Commission’s decision.
– Android has offered more choice for everyone and supports thousands of successful companies in Europe and around the world, Google commented on the verdict.
The roots of the case are more than ten years ago, when the use of smartphones exploded. In practice, phone manufacturers are dependent on Google’s Android operating system, with the exception of Apple and nowadays also Huawei.
Google has the opportunity to appeal the decision to the actual EU court.