Google challenges record $5 billion European Union antitrust fine

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager ordered Google to halt anti-competitive practices in contractual deals with smartphone makers

Google is appealing a record $5 billion antitrust fine by European Union authorities, who say the tech giant abused the dominance of its Android operating system to stifle competitors.

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager ordered Google to "put an effective end to this conduct within 90 days or face penalty payments" of up to 5 per cent of its average daily turnover.

Google provides Android free to smartphone manufacturers and generates most of its revenue from selling advertisements that appear along with search results.

In particular, Google has 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). This stopped Amazon from being able to find third-party companies to make devices using its Android-based Fire OS. The company also paid big phone makers to exclusively pre-install the Google Search app.

Reacting to the ruling, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in July the company will appeal against the Commission's decision.

This means Google will have to meet a deadline at the end of October to end the behaviour the European Union says is anticompetitive or face additional fines of up to 5% of average daily global revenue for each day it doesn't comply.

Representatives from the European Commission didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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

But according to industry-tracker Gartner, Android dominated the smartphone market with a share of 85.9 per cent past year, to around 14 per cent for Apple's iOS.

Android is the most widely used mobile operating system, beating even Apple's iOS.

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