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EU court upholds landmark 2018 antitrust ruling against Google Android app bundling

The EU General Court upheld the Commission’s 2018 antitrust decision that Google imposed unlawful restrictions on Android manufacturers

What's the news: The EU General Court on September 14 upheld the European Commission's 2018 antitrust decision that "Google imposed unlawful restrictions on manufacturers of Android mobile devices and mobile network operators in order to consolidate the dominant position of its search engine." A reduced fine: The European Commission had dealt Google a record-breaking fine of €4.3 billion but the Court has reduced this to €4.1 billion because it found the revenue-sharing schemes with manufacturers not anti-competitive. But even with the reduction, the fine remains the largest levied by the EU for an antitrust violation. Why does this matter: By confirming the Commission's ruling, the Court has strengthened the position of the EU antitrust watchdog, which has a long list of antitrust cases lined up against Big Tech companies including Apple, Amazon Meta, and Google's digital advertising and Play Store businesses. The ruling also deals a significant setback to Google, which now has to cough up a huge fine. "This, of course, is really good. Now, we have the second Google judgment and for us, it is really important as it backs our enforcement efforts." — EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager Google's response: "We are disappointed that the Court did not annul the decision in full. Android has created more choice for everyone, not less, and supports thousands of successful businesses in Europe and around the world," a Google spokesperson told The Verge. What was the original decision about: The Commission had levied its original charge based on findings that Google abused its market dominance by: Forcing smartphone…

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