Google to challenge record antitrust fine

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Google has launched a response against the €4.34bn fine it received from the EU earlier this year for allegedly abusing its dominant market position.

The company has now officially challenged the fine imposed by EU’s antitrust regulators, Reuters has reported, quoting an email from Google.

Google’s arguments will reprotedly revolve around the company CEO’s statement that Android has, in fact, created more choice for consumers, not less.

According to EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, the search giant broke EU antitrust laws by bundling its search engine and Google apps with Android, blocking device manufacturers from creating devices running forked versions of Android and by paying manufacturers and network operators to exclusively pre-install the Google Search app on their devices.

Vestager previously fined Google $2.1bn for promoting its own shopping comparison service over that of its rivals and a third investigation is currently underway regarding the firm's AdSense advertising business.

Reuters says the case is complex, and that it can take years before we have a ruling of any sorts. Google (or the EU) may appeal one more time, at the Court of Justice of the European Union, but only on points of law.

Google's Chief Executive Sundar Pichai responded to the European Commission's ruling in a blog post in which he defended the company's decision to include its own apps with Android devices, saying:

“The free distribution of the Android platform, and of Google’s suite of applications, is not only efficient for phone makers and operators—it’s of huge benefit for developers and consumers. If phone makers and mobile network operators couldn’t include our apps on their wide range of devices, it would upset the balance of the Android ecosystem. So far, the Android business model has meant that we haven't had to charge phone makers for our technology, or depend on a tightly controlled distribution model.”

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