Antitrust Case 40099 | Google Android

Author (Corporate)
Publication Date 18/07/2018
Content Type ,


The European Commission opened in April 2015 a formal antitrust investigation over Google's conduct as regards the mobile operating system Android. A year later, the Commission informed the company of its preliminary view that it had abused its dominant position by imposing restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators.

On 18 July 2018, the Commission announced its decision to fine Google €4.34 billion for breaching EU antitrust rules, largely confirming the conclusions of its preliminary view.

Further information:

+ Commission opens separate formal investigation on Google's Android, April 2015
+ Commission sends Statement of Objections to Google on Android operating system and applications, April 2016

In particular, the Commission concluded that Google:

+ required manufacturers to pre-install the Google Search app and browser app (Chrome), as a condition for licensing Google's app store (the Play Store);
+ made payments to certain large manufacturers and mobile network operators on condition that they exclusively pre-installed the Google Search app on their devices;
+ prevented manufacturers wishing to pre-install Google apps from selling even a single smart mobile device running on alternative versions of Android that were not approved by Google (so-called 'Android forks').

Market dominance is, as such, not illegal under EU antitrust rules. However, dominant companies have a special responsibility not to abuse their powerful market position by restricting competition, either in the market where they are dominant or in separate markets. The Commission found that Google engaged in three separate types of practices, which all had the aim of cementing Google's dominant position in general internet search.

Source Link
Related Link(s)
Europpean Commission: Statement by Commissioner Vestager on Commission decision to fine Google €4.34 billion for illegal practices regarding Android mobile devices to strengthen dominance of Google's search engine
European Commission: Press Release, 18.07.18: Commission fines Google €4.34 billion for illegal practices regarding Android mobile devices to strengthen dominance of Google's search engine
Euro|topics, July 2018: EU imposes record fine on Google
The Guardian, 18.07.18: The EU fining Google over Android is too little, too late, say experts
The New Yorker, 20.07.18: Why Did the European Commission Fine Google Five Billion Dollars?
BBC News, 18.07.18: Google hit with €4.3bn Android fine from EU
EurActiv, 20.07.18: Trump threatens EU for 'taking advantage' of the US
European Commission: Fact Sheet, 15.04.15: Commission opens formal investigation against Google in relation to Android mobile operating system
Gloogle: Blog, 18.07.18: Android has created more choice, not less
The Economist, 21.07.18: Google is fined €4.3bn in the biggest-ever antitrust penalty

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