Google is challenging a record EU antitrust fine of $5 billion

FILE PHOTO: Logo at Google’s European Engineering Center in Zurich, Switzerland, July 19, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

Author: Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Google’s alphabetical unit on Tuesday challenged a record 4.34 billion euro ($5 billion) fine imposed three months ago by European Union antitrust regulators for using the popular Android mobile operating system to thwart competitors.

“We have now appealed the European Commission’s Android decision to the EU General Court,” Google said in an email. He previously announced that he would take the case to the second highest court in Europe in Luxembourg.

The company addressed arguments made by CEO Sundar Pichai on the day of the July EU ruling, the most important of which is that Android gave consumers more, not less, choice.

In its July decision, the European Commission said Google had abused its market dominance since 2011. Android, which device makers use for free, is found in about 80 percent of the world’s smartphones.

EU competition law enforcement authorities found that Google’s illegal practices include forcing manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and the Chrome browser along with the Google Play app store on their Android devices,

EU antitrust authorities said the company also paid manufacturers to pre-install only Google search and blocked them from using competing Android systems.

A complex case can take several years for judges to hear. A final appeal is possible to Europe’s highest court, the Court of Justice of the European Union, but only on points of law.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee. Editing by Jane Merriman)