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Google challenges $5 bn EU antitrust fine in Android case

Google is changing Gmail's policies so third-party apps will no longer be able to scan your inbox for profit Google is changing Gmail's policies so third-party apps will no longer be able to scan your inbox for
Ginger Lawrence | 11 October, 2018, 10:46

Europe's competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager criticised how closed the supposedly open-source platform is, stating that the company "could have provided a platform for rival search engines as well as other app developers to thrive".

Google is challenging the $5 billion (4.34 billion euros) fine by the European Commission for its alleged use of "illegal practices" to push Android apps on smartphone customers.

According to a report in The Verge, Google on Tuesday filed the appeal.

In an e-mail to AFP, Google spokesman Al Verney confirmed that "we have now filed our appeal of the European Commission's Android decision at the General Court of the European Union".

"In this way, Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine".

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"They have denied European consumers the benefits of effective competition in the important mobile sphere".

But Ms Vestager said Google had shut out rivals by forcing major phone makers including South Korea's Samsung and China's Huawei to pre-install its search engine and Google Chrome browser. "This is illegal under European Union antitrust rules", Vestager added.

Google also faces a $2.7 billion fine from the Europe's anti-trust body for ranking its own shopping services higher than those of its competitors in search results. Google's CEO Sundar Pichai immediately responded that Android has "created more choice for everyone, not less", and promised to appeal. This stopped Amazon from being able to find third-party companies to make devices using its Android-based Fire OS.

The decision was made following two years-worth of investigation surrounding Google's Android practices.

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