European justice confirms a “record fine” of more than 4 billion euros against Google

The Court of Justice of the European Union confirmed, on Wednesday, “to a large extent” a “record” fine imposed by the Commission against Google, which has put in place “unlawful restrictions” on manufacturers of mobile devices and mobile network operators, in order to consolidate the dominant position of its search engine.

“In order to take better account of the gravity and duration of the infringement, the court nevertheless considers it appropriate to impose a fine on Google in the amount of 4.125 billion euros following reasoning which differs on certain points from that of the Commission”according to a judgment of the General Court of the EU.

The American technology giant had seized European justice against the record fine of 4.34 billion euros imposed on it by the Commission in 2018 for abuse of a dominant position via its Android operating system.

The European Commission had, among other things, accused the Californian group of requiring manufacturers to pre-install the Google Search application (major source of its revenue) and its browser (Chrome) as a condition for granting the license for its online application store (Play Store).

Brussels also accused him of paying some major manufacturers and mobile network operators to exclusively pre-install the Google Search app on their devices.

Finally, she pointed the finger at Google for preventing manufacturers wishing to pre-install Google apps from selling even a single smart mobile device running on other versions of Android not approved by Google.

This Wednesday, the General Court of the EU largely confirmed the Commission’s position, considering however that the latter “violated Google’s rights of defense” by depriving it “of a chance to better ensure its defense by developing its arguments at a hearing.

On the amount of the fine, the justice set it at 4.125 billion euros, judging “appropriate to take into account the evolution over time of the various aspects of the offense and the complementarity of the practices in question for assess the impact of the effects of eviction validly established by the Commission”.

This is a judgment rendered at first instance and subject to appeal.


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