Google has been dealing with the European Union in a legal fashion for quite some time, specifically in terms of potential antitrust issues. And now the EU has leveled a record-setting fine against the Android house.
Today, the EU announced that it is bringing a fine of €4.34 billion ($5.05 billion) against Google because it has determined the company broke several antitrust laws. According to the EU, Google has “imposed illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators to cement its dominant position in general internet search”, noting that Google has required Android manufacturers to preinstall the Google Search app and Google Chrome to license the Google Play store.
What’s more, the EU argues that Google has also made large payments to “certain large manufacturers and mobile network operators” in a concerted effort to get those entities to preinstall the Google Search app on their devices. The fine also states that Google has blocked certain manufacturers that want to preinstall Google apps from selling their devices that run custom variants of the Android mobile operating system.
As it stands right now, Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, has stated that the company plans on appealing the EU’s decision. Pichai notes that it is “easy” for Android users to quickly remove and replace apps they want on their Android devices, and says that the fact some of Google’s apps are preinstalled are there in an effort to make sure the devices “just work”.