O General Court of the European Union decided, this Wednesday (14), that Google will have to pay the historic fine, imposed in 2018, for understanding that the company violated antitrust laws of the economic bloc. However, the penalty, which was 4.3 billion euros, was reduced to 4.125 billion euros (about R$ 21.3 billion).
in the resolutionthe court said it “broadly confirms the European Commission’s decision that Google illegally imposed restrictions on mobile device manufacturers and operators to consolidate a dominant position of its search engine.”
In a note, Google stated:
We are disappointed that the Court did not overturn the decision in its entirety. Android has created more options for everyone, not less, and supports thousands of successful businesses in Europe and around the world.
The fine in question was applied by the European Commission for four years and is considered the largest ever sentenced in the European Union. Google is accused of giving advantages to its own apps, forcing smartphone makers to pre-install them.
However, the giant argues that, on Android, customers are free to choose which manufacturer they prefer, and can replace native apps with others – things that, according to Google, are not possible on iOS.
For Justice, Google’s business model “is based on increasing the number of users of online search services to sell online advertising services”, while Apple focuses on selling mobile devices.
In contrast, the company says that this keeps most of its free services free. Both parties can appeal the decision to the Court of Justice of the European Union, the highest court in the bloc.
EU has already fined companies on other occasions
However, anyone who thinks that this is the first time that Google has received a fine from the European Union is wrong. In 2019, the company was sentenced to pay 1.49 billion euros on suspicion of anti-competitive practices in AdSense.
At the time, the European Commission understood that, between the years 2006 and 2016, the Mountain View giant would have used its ad platform to make it difficult to compete with rival ad services.
In 2017, the company was fined 2.4 billion euros on suspicion of monopoly. The service of the time was Google Shopping. For Justice, once again Google would have harmed competitors by privileging certain results in searches.
With information: The Verge, TechCrunch