Google has filed an appeal against the European Commission’s $5 billion fine slammed on it last July. The hefty fine was slammed on Google following investigations into what the EU described as breach of antitrust laws. The Commission held that the search engine behemoth was abusing its market dominance over its Android OS by bundling together some of its major products including Chrome.
Google was also charged with blocking phone manufacturers from creating devices that run versions of its mobile OS Android. The company was also accused of making “payments to certain large manufacturers and mobile network operators on condition that they exclusively pre-installed the Google Search app on their devices.”
The third charge preferred against Google, according to the regulatory authority is: preventing “manufacturers wishing to pre-install Google apps from selling even a single smart mobile device running on alternative versions of Android that were not approved by Google (so-called “Android forks”).
Google did say it would appeal the fine, and has followed up with that by filing an appeal, The Wall Street Journal reports. The EU had given Google a 90-day grace period to bring an end to its anti-competitive behaviors, but the company never appealed that decision until on Tuesday—a couple of days to the expiration of the grace period.
Google and the European Commission both have a history that dates way back. In 2017, the Commission fined the search engine behemoth the sum of $2.7 billion for ranking its shopping services higher than its rivals in terms of search results.
Shortly after that fine, the European Commission urged rivals that may feel hurt by the company’s breaking of its anti-trust law to consider suing the search engine. The Commission through its Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, urged Google’s rivals to sue the search engine giant for abusing its anti-trust law.
Vestager said at the time that any business that feels hurt should use the ruling to prop up its case. “It is for everyone who feels they have been hurt by the illegal Google behavior to take this report and use in court as part of their evidence will have an influence,” Vestager said per The Sunday Times.
Prior to the fine imposed by the Commission, the EU antitrust body had opened its investigation against the search engine giant about eight years ago following series of complaints from several companies about how they have been shut-out by Google. Since then, various efforts have been made to reach an agreement with parties involved, but with no concrete agreement reached.
In July 2016, the regulators slammed more charges on Google—extending its investigation beyond search to AdSense and AdWords. The new charges brought against Google was the clearest indication yet that the end was not in sight as it concerns the EU’s investigation.
“Google has come up with many innovative products and services that have made a difference to our lives. That’s a good thing. But Google’s strategy for its comparison shopping service wasn’t just about attracting customers by making its product better than those of its rivals. Instead, Google abused its market dominance as a search engine by promoting its own comparison shopping service in its search results, and demoting those of competitors,” the Commissioner said in a statement back in 2017 while pronouncing the fine.