Google has been fined a record €4.34 billion over Android which the European Commission claims has been used to “cement its dominant position” in search.
Google’s parent Alphabet has been given 90 days to change its business practices or face further penalties of up to 5 per cent of its average global daily turnover. It has said it plans to appeal. Cash reserves totalled nearly $103 billion at the end of March.
EC Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said consumers needed choice, she suggested the ruling could lead manufacturers to sell smart devices using different versions of the Android operating system to Google’s, such as Amazon’s Fire OS, which she said they had been prevented from doing.
Google’s chief executive Sundar Pichai has blogged in response: “Rapid innovation, wide choice, and falling prices are classic hallmarks of robust competition and Android has enabled all of them… Today’s decision rejects the business model that supports Android, which has created more choice for everyone, not less.”
Vestager previously fined Google €2.4 billion ($2.8bn; £2.1bn) over a separate probe into its shopping comparison service – a ruling the tech firm is in the process of appealing against.
In addition, her team has a third investigation underway into Google’s advert-placing business AdSense.