EU strikes down Google's appeal of €4 billion fine over Search dominance on Android

·2 min read
 The Google Logo in Black and White under a sepia shade
The Google Logo in Black and White under a sepia shade

What you need to know

  • The EU issued a €4.34 billion fine in 2018 over Google's dominance on Android.

  • Google attempted to appeal the fine, asserting that the court ignores Apple's presence in the market.

  • The EU has upheld its ruling against Google, although with a smaller fine.

It seems EU regulators are not the biggest fan of Google, as the search giant's appeal of a €4.34 billion fine issued in 2018 was dismissed. The fine was issued after it was ruled that Google holds unfair dominance on its Android operating system.

The judgment was made on Wednesday, maintaining that Google imposes anticompetitive restrictions on Android by requiring OEMs to install apps like Search and Chrome in order to gain access to the Play Store. It also finds that Google unfairly discourages OEMs from installing forked versions of Android.

However, following Google's largely-failed appeal, the court found that one claim made in the original complaint could not be upheld. More specifically, the claim that Google abused its power by engaging in revenue share agreements with OEMs that pre-installed its search engine. Thus, the original fine has been reduced to €4.1 billion, a small but noteworthy win for Google.

"The General Court largely confirms the Commission's decision that Google imposed unlawful restrictions on manufacturers of Android mobile devices and mobile network operators in order to consolidate the dominant position of its search engine," the court said in its ruling.

This is notably the second appeal that Google has lost in a year. In late 2021, the EU upheld a €2.7 billion antitrust fine issued in 2017 over Google's Search dominance for "favouring its own comparison shopping service on its general results pages." Meanwhile, Google has maintained that its platform and services continue to be good for consumers, previously arguing that the court failed to recognize Apple's presence in the market.

The company expressed its disappointment in the recent ruling in a statement on Wednesday:

"We are disappointed that the Court did not annul the decision in full," said a Google spokesperson. "Android has created more choice for everyone, not less, and supports thousands of successful businesses in Europe and around the world."