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Google can’t overturn EU Android antitrust ruling, but cuts its fine by 5 percent

google has failed to convince Europe’s General Court reverses the Commission’s ruling in its Android antitrust case and its decision to impose a €4.3 billion (US$4.3 billion) fine on the company. The General Court upheld the Commission’s original ruling in 2018 that Google used its dominant market position to impose restrictions on manufacturers making Android phones and tablets. However, it reduced the fine somewhat, deciding that €4.125 ($4.121) billion is the most appropriate amount based on its own findings.

The Commission previously found that Google acted illegally by forcing Android makers to pre-install its apps and search engine. In doing so, the Commission said the company was able to “cement its dominant position in general Internet searches”. Roughly 80 percent of smart devices in Europe as of July 2018 were running the Android operating system, and people tend to be happy with the default options given to them.

That’s a big deal according to FairSearch, the group of organizations that lobby against Google’s search domain and the original plaintiff in the case, because Google’s search engine is monetized by paid advertising. The tech giant makes most of its money from online ads, according to data from extra, Google’s advertising revenue in 2021 amounted to 209.49 billion dollars. FairSearch also said that by forcing Android makers to install its apps and search engine, Google is denying competitors the opportunity to compete fairly.

In addition to imposing restrictions on Android manufacturers, EU officials also found that Google “made payments to certain large manufacturers and mobile network operators” in an alleged effort to ensure that operators only installed Google Search in the divisions they sell. . The General Court has also agreed with the Commission regarding the anti-fragmentation agreements that Android manufacturers must sign. These agreements seek to “prevent the development and market presence of devices running an unsupported fork of Android,” the court wrote in its decision.

In a statement provided to Engadget, Google expressed its disappointment with the court’s decision and insisted that Android has created more choice for consumers:

“We are disappointed that the Court did not overturn the decision in its entirety. Android has created more choice for everyone, not less, and supports thousands of successful businesses in Europe and around the world.”

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