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Google To Appeal Record EU Fine Over Android OS

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Google is readying an appeal of the European Union’s record €4.34bn fine, which it was slapped with in July over its Android mobile operating system.

According to the Financial Times, Google has until Wednesday (October 10) to file an appeal with the European Court of Justice against the European Union decision which was meted out in July.

The ruling outlawed contract restrictions that enabled Google to maintain its dominant search position over the years. The EU’s competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in July Google was involved in three practices that prevented rivals with the ability to compete and innovate, including forcing Android phone makers to preinstall the Chrome browser and search app. The commission also found Google paid phone makers and network operators incentives that were deemed anti-competitive to pre-install only Google’s search app. It also was charged with preventing companies from using rival Android operating software on handsets. Google denied any wrongdoing in the case, noted the Financial Times.

The paper noted that it could take years for the appeals to work their way through the European Court of Justice but that Google has until October 28 to address the issues Vestager alleges. If the European Commission finds Google didn’t make moves to fix the allegations it can be fined up to 5 percent of its average daily worldwide turnover, noted the report.

Agustín Reyna, chief competition adviser at the BEUC, the European consumer organization, told the Financial Times that Google is reliant on Android to continue to push search so they can make money on ads. He said the company’s comments after the decision shows Google is taking this seriously. He also said the company could attempt to delay making the Android fixes by requesting interim measures — which requires the changes to be made only after a ruling on the appeal — but that the strategy is at best a long shot.

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