EU antitrust body examines Google Play amid pending Android fine plea

EU antitrust body examines Google Play amid pending Android fine plea

Alphabet Inc. unit Google LLC has reportedly said in a regulatory filing that European antitrust investigators are looking into its Google Play Store, which may subject the American tech giant to yet another fine of nearly a billion.

Notably, Google has paid USD 8.24 billion in EU antitrust fines over the past ten years as a result of three investigations into its business practices.

Google in a quarterly financial report dated October 25 stated that the European Commission (EC) and Britains Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) both launched a formal investigation into the business operations of Google Play in May 2022.

People familiar with the situation said that EU antitrust officials are looking into whether Googles threat to ban apps from its Play Store if developers choose to use other forms of payment instead of its own billing system has troubled the developers.

It is worth mentioning that developers have long criticized the fees Google and Apple impose at their mobile app shops, claiming that they are excessive.

Separately, Google announced on Thursday i.e., 27th October that it would take its record-breaking USD 4.1 billion EU antitrust fine up for review at the continent's highest court after a lower panel rejected its appeal last month.

Although the General Court in Luxembourg reduced the penalties from USD 4.31 billion to USD 4.10 billion, it essentially supported the Commission's 2018 decision.

Judges concurred with the European Union competition authority that Google had illegally restricted Android mobile device makers and mobile network operators in order to strengthen the dominant position of its search engine.

The Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg is the only venue available to the firm for legal appeals.

Meanwhile, the bloc is strengthening its antitrust authority with new ground-breaking technological regulations that limit online gatekeepers, or businesses that manage access to their platforms and data there. The companies will have to comply with these regulations which will take effect in the first quarter of 2024.


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