The Court of Justice of the European Union (EuG) has largely confirmed a decision by the EU Commission, according to which Google has to pay a billion fine for illegal practices with Android smartphones. The fine will be slightly reduced to 4.125 billion euros, the court announced on Wednesday. Google has imposed unlawful restrictions on Android phone manufacturers and mobile network operators in order to strengthen the dominant position of its search engine. window._folmq.push(function() {$(document).ready(function(){TFT.Ext.FOL.loadInlineSvgSprite(“”); $(‘.F100_NAVIGATION_TABS ul li’).on(‘click’,function(){var el = $(this),idx = el.parent().find(‘li’).index(el);el. parent().find(‘li’).removeClass(“active”);el.addClass(“active”);el.parentsUntil(‘.F100_WRAP’).next(‘.F100_INDICES’).find(‘li’ ).addClass(‘hidden’);el.parentsUntil(‘.F100_WRAP’).next(‘.F100_INDICES’).find(‘li’).eq(idx).removeClass(‘hidden’);var img = el .parentsUntil(‘.F100_WRAP’).next(‘.F100_INDICES’).find(‘li’).eq(idx).find(‘img’);if(img.length > 0){$(window). trigger(“scroll”);}});});});.F100_SINGLE_MULTI_CHART .F100_POSITIVE,.F100_SINGLE_MULTI_CHART .F100_TREND_POSITIVE span {color:

The Commission accuses Google of having unfairly secured the market position of its online offers on Android smartphones against other service providers. Android, which is used by manufacturers such as Samsung, Oppo and Xiaomi, among others, is the most used smartphone system in the world with a market share of around 80 percent. Apple’s iPhones do the rest with their iOS system.

Android is developed by Google, is free for device manufacturers and can in principle also be modified by them. But there are limitations when they bring Google services like GMail or Maps to the devices.

One of the things that bothered the Commission was that manufacturers of Android smartphones who want to integrate Google services always had to install a complete package of eleven apps from the Internet group on the devices. For example, Google’s Chrome browser and Google search always come onto the devices, even if a manufacturer only wants to install the Play Store app platform, for example. Google changed the business model in 2018 and now allows manufacturers to integrate individual services without Chrome and web search. Despite the legal action against the Commission’s decision, the group had to comply with their demands.

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager emphasized in the 2018 decision that the pre-installation of Google as the default search engine ensures that consumers actually use it instead of downloading a competitor’s application. At the time, Google countered that it was necessary to bundle several apps because otherwise users would not be able to use linked Google services properly.

The Brussels authority also criticized the so-called “anti-fragmentation agreement”, according to which providers of devices with Google services could not also sell smartphones with modified Android versions at the same time. Vestager’s example is that a few years ago Amazon wanted to offer its modified Android system FireOS to other manufacturers. They were interested – but couldn’t use FireOS because after that they couldn’t offer any more devices with Google services. Google also lifted this restriction in 2018.

The Commission’s third allegation revolved around the fact that Google only shares the proceeds from advertising in the search app with device manufacturers if it was exclusively installed on the phones and tablets. Since 2018, Google has been offering new license agreements for non-exclusive use of the app.

The judgment is part of a series of legal disputes between the EU Commission responsible for competition in the European Union and the American group (Case T-604/18). Since 2017, the Brussels authorities have imposed several fines on Google, some of historic proportions, most recently last year. Several lawsuits by Google against Commission decisions are still pending both before the EU Court and the ECJ.