Google has lost its latest battle with European Union regulators. This morning, the General Court of the European Union Google fine record upheld To bundle Google and Chrome search with Android. The initial ruling was reached in July 2018 with a fine of 4.34 billion euros, and although that figure has fallen to 4.125 billion euros ($4.13 billion), it is still the largest fine ever imposed by the European Union.
The European Union has a problem with the way Google licenses Android and associated Google apps like the Play Store to manufacturers. The Play Store and Google Play Services are needed to build a competitive smartphone, but getting them from Google requires signing a number of contracts that the European Union says are stifling competition.
The commission focused on three illegal restrictions. First, Google combines Google Chrome and search with Android. The company is asking Android manufacturers to sign the “Mobile Application Distribution Agreement“(Extent) contract, which states that manufacturers who want to include a Google product must include a large selection of them and make Google the default. There are also requirements as to where to place icons and tools.
The second illegal restriction is the contract’s “Anti-Retail Agreement,” which states that anyone who creates an Android fork, even as a separate product or under a different brand, will have their company’s Google app license revoked immediately. The third issue relates to Google’s revenue sharing agreements, which give manufacturers who adhere to all these rules a share of Google’s search and customer-generated Google ad revenue.
The European Union Commission found that “the aim of all these restrictions is to protect and promote Google’s dominant position in relation to public search services, and, accordingly, the revenue that Google receives through search advertising.”
Although the appeal was just dropped, Google’s solutions to its issues had already been put forward around the time the initial ruling was delivered. In the European Union, Google took a page from Microsoft Antitrust compliance bookAndroid now displays Browser and search engine Which allows users to choose an option other than Google. Google says it used ad revenue from Google’s default apps to fund Android development, and now that those apps aren’t included, manufacturers can choose to pay for Android directly instead of getting it for free. If manufacturers don’t bundle Google apps, Google will ship them Up to $40 per phone in the European Union. The European Union has also forced Google to allow partners to do so Building forks Android without facing retaliation from the company. You can now sell Google Play Android and a forked Android based device next to each other without getting out of the ecosystem.
In response to the ruling, a Google spokesperson told Ars, “We are disappointed that the court did not overturn the decision entirely. Android has Create more choices for everyonenot less, and supports thousands of successful companies in Europe and around the world.”
This is Google’s second major loss in EU courts. The company was also fined 2.4 billion euros To group shopping on Google with search and 1.5 billion euros To aggregate research and advertising. In total, Google was fined 8.25 billion euros in the European Union.