Google Fined Record $5.1 Billion by European Antitrust Body

July 18, 2018 4:23AM PT

The European Commission has fined Google a record $5.1 billion (€4.34 billion) for breaching EU antitrust rules, a decision the Internet search giant immediately said it would appeal.

The fine pertains to Google allegedly imposing illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators “to cement its dominant position in general internet search,” according to a commission statement. The commission said Google must now “bring the conduct effectively to an end within 90 days or face penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.”

Margrethe Vestager, the European commissioner in charge of competition policy, said: “Today, mobile internet makes up more than half of global internet traffic. It has changed the lives of millions of Europeans. Our case is about three types of restrictions that Google has imposed on Android device manufacturers and network operators to ensure that traffic on Android devices goes to the Google search engine. In this way, Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine.

“These practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on the merits. They have denied European consumers the benefits of effective competition in the important mobile sphere. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules.”

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