The European Union on Wednesday penalised Google a record €4.34 billion (Rs 34,590 crore) for violating the bloc’s antitrust regulations, The Wall Street Journal reported. It also ordered changes to the technology giant’s business that could loosen the company’s hold on mobile phones, which are its biggest growth engine.
The European Union’s antitrust regulator found Google guilty of using its Android operating system, which runs more than 80% of the world’s smartphones, to promote its own mobile apps and services, particularly the company’s search engine.
“Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine,” Margrethe Vestager, European Competition Commissioner said. “They have denied European consumers the benefits of effective competition in the important mobile sphere.”
Google said it would appeal the fine, Reuters reported.
The antitrust body dismissed Google’s argument that it was competing against Apple, saying switching to iPhones was costly and so was not a sufficient constraint. It said Google broke the law by requiring manufacturers to install its Search and Chrome apps as a condition for licensing Google’s app store, CNN Money reported.
The regulator asked Google to stop the practices within 90 days or face additional penalties.