Big fine for Google dominance
Google has been ordered to pay $6.126 billion after losing a challenge against an EU antitrust decision.
Europe's General Court has imposed a fine of €4.125 billion (AU$6.126 billion) on Google for using the dominance of its Android mobile operating system to quash rivals.
“Google imposed unlawful restrictions on manufacturers of Android mobile devices and mobile network operators in order to consolidate the dominant position of its search engine,” the court said.
It is part of broader moves by the European Commission to crack down on Big Tech with hefty fines to ensure a level playing field.
In its 2018 decision, which the General Court backed this week, the Commission said Google used Android to dominate general internet search via payments to large manufacturers and mobile network operators and restrictions.
Google said the payments and agreements were to help keep Android a free operating system, and criticised the EU decision for being out of step with the economic reality of mobile software platforms.
Google said it was disappointed with the court judgement this week.
“We are disappointed that the Court did not annul the decision in full. Android has created more choice for everyone, not less, and supports thousands of successful businesses in Europe and around the world,” the company said in a statement.
There is an option to appeal on matters of law to the EU Court of Justice, Europe's highest.
Google also faces damages claims of up to €25 billion (AU$37.1 billion) over digital advertising practices in two suits to be filed in British and Dutch courts in the coming weeks.
Additionally, a Moscow court has accepted a bankruptcy application by Google's Russian subsidiary after authorities seized its bank account, making it impossible to pay staff and vendors.
In South Korea, courts have levied tens of millions of dollars in fines on both Google and Meta platforms for privacy law violations, with the nation’s Personal Information Protection Commission announcing it had fined Google 69.2 billion won (AU$73.8 million) and Meta 30.8 billion won (AU$32.8 million).