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Google hit with largest-ever $5 billion antitrust penalty in Android case

July 18, 2018 / Greg Sterling

It’s the largest antitrust fine ever imposed by the European Commission (EC) and nearly doubles the last antitrust fine Google received over alleged abuses in shopping search. Earlier today, the EC announced a €4.3 billion (roughly $5 billion) penalty and ordered the company to change how it conducts business with Android phone makers. The EC has given Google 90 days to make the required changes to its business practices or face additional, substantial fines. The money is significant, but the larger issue is Google Play and its role in the Android ecosystem. Phone makers, like Samsung, that want access to Google Play are required to preinstall a number of Google apps, including search, Maps, Chrome, and others. Google argued in a blog post today that this practice is beneficial to the ecosystem, including app developers and consumers, and enables the company to offer the Android OS for free. Accordingly, the company is implying that without app bundling, it couldn’t of...