Google was hit with one of its most significant setbacks on Wednesday, when a top European court affirmed a decision that the company had violated competition laws and imposed a record fine of 4.1 billion euros, an act that could prompt other regulators to intensify their pressures against the US company.

The subsidiary of US technology giant Alphabet was able to challenge an EU antitrust ruling, however the ruling was generally affirmed by the European General Court, with the fine being reduced modestly down to 4.125 milliards dollars ($4.13 billion) from 4.34 billion euros.

However, even with the decrease the fine was still the record-breaking fine of a monopoly violation. The EU antitrust enforcement agency has fined the most used search engine with a fine of 8.25 billion euros over three separate investigations that span more than 10 years.

The ruling is expected to increase the significance of important rules that aim to limit the influence of US technology giants. These rules are set to take the market in the coming year.

“The decision strengthens the power that the Commission. It confirms that the Commission may use antitrust actions as a safeguard to ensure compliance with digital regulation , also known by DMA. DMA,” said Nicolas Petit Professor at the European University Institute.

EU Antitrust Chief Margrethe Vestager did not mince her words.

“This is, of course, is a great thing. Then, we’ve got the second Google decision and, for us, it’s crucial as it supports our efforts to enforce the law,” she said.

The second time a court has ruled against Google. for Google that lost its appeal to the 2.42 million euro ($2.42 billion) fine in the past year, the first of a trilogy of court cases.

“The General Court largely confirms the Commission’s decision that Google has imposed unjustified restrictions on the makers of Android mobile devices and mobile network operators to increase the dominance of Google’s indexing engine.” it said.

“In order to better show the severity and length of the infraction to better reflect the severity and duration of the infringement, to better reflect the severity and duration of the infringement, the General Court considers it appropriate however to impose a penalty that is 4.125 billion euros to Google and its reasoning differs in some respects from the reasoning from Commission. Commission,” judges said.

Google is able to appeal in matters of law before the EU Court of Justice, Europe‘s top court, expressed its displeasure.

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“We regret that the Court didn’t overturn the decision in its entirety. Android provides more options for all users instead of fewer options and has helped thousands of companies that have been successful across Europe and across the globe,” a spokesperson said.


The decision is a win for Vestager following she was acquitted of her charges after the General Court overturned her decisions against Intel and Qualcomm earlier in the year.

Vestager has been able to make her crackdown on Big Tech a hallmark of her job, an action that has inspired authorities throughout the United States and elsewhere to follow the same pattern.

She is currently looking into the digital ads business of Google, including its Jedi Blue ad deal with Meta as well as apple’s App store rules and Meta’s market, data use , as well as Amazon’s market and selling online policies.

The Court accepted the Commission’s conclusion the iPhone maker Apple wasn’t within the same market, and therefore, could not pose an obstacle to competition with Android.

The court’s backing could help strengthen the EU antitrust watchdog’s investigation into Apple’s business practices in the streaming music market that the regulator believes Apple is the dominant player.

FairSearch The company, whose complaint in 2013 was the catalyst for the EU case, has said that the decision could result in greater competition on the market for smartphones.

“This proves that how the European Commission got it right. Google cannot restrict its choices to the makers of smartphones. They can now let their phones compete in search , as well as other services, which will allow consumers to have more choices,” its lawyer Thomas Vinje stated.

The Commission in its decision of 2018 declared that Google employed Android to increase its dominance in general internet searches through payments to big manufacturers as well as mobile network operators as well as limitations.

Google stated that it was acting as numerous other companies, and the agreements and payments it has made aid in keeping Android as a completely free operating system while calling out its EU decision as being out of keeping with the realities of the economy that mobile platforms offer.

This case’s name is T-604/18. Google in the case of European Commission.

($1 = 1.0002 euros)


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