A top court has largely dismissed Google’s appeal against a record European Union antitrust fine imposed for stifling competition and limiting consumer choice through the dominance of its Android mobile operating system.
The ruling marks another victory for EU regulators, who are global leaders in controlling the power of big tech companies.
The General Court of the European Union largely upheld a 2018 decision by the EU Executive Board to smack Google with a fine of more than four billion euros (£3.46 billion).
That’s slightly less than the original fine of €4.34 billion (£3.76 billion), with the court saying its reasoning differed “in certain respects” from that of the commission.
“We are disappointed that the court did not overturn the decision in full,” Google said in a statement.
“Android has created more choice for everyone, not less, and powers thousands of successful businesses in Europe and around the world.”
The company has previously argued that free and open-source Android has led to inexpensive phones and boosted competition with its main competitor Apple.
Android is the most popular mobile operating system, beating even Apple’s iOS.
The fine is one of three antitrust fines totaling more than £6.92 billion that the European Commission imposed on Google between 2017 and 2019, putting the 27-nation bloc at the forefront of the global drive to tech giants to contain
Since then, the Commission has expanded its crackdown on digital giants with further antitrust investigations into Amazon, Apple and Facebook, and introduced new rules aimed at cracking down on the biggest digital companies.