On Wednesday, a top European court upheld a finding that Google had violated competition laws and imposed a record punishment of 4.1 billion euros.
This was one of Google’s largest losses and may have inspired other authorities to increase their pressure on the American behemoth. Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) division attempted to appeal an EU antitrust judgment, but the General Court of the European Union maintained the ruling in large part and reduced the sentence from 4.34 billion euros to 4.125 billion euros ($4.13 billion). It was still a record fine for an antitrust violation even after the reduction.
Google Will Have To Pay The EU A Fine Of $2.42 Billion
This is Google’s second legal setback after losing its appeal of a 2.42 billion euro ($2.42 billion) fine in the first of three instances last year. The Court agreed with the Commission’s conclusion that Apple (AAPL.O), the manufacturer of the iPhone, did not compete in the same market as Android and could not act as a barrier to Android’s growth.
With the court’s support, the EU antitrust watchdog may be more confident in looking into Apple’s business practices in the market for music streaming, which the agency claims Apple dominates.
According to FairSearch, whose 2013 complaint started the EU case, the verdict might increase competition in the smartphone industry. In three investigations spanning more than ten years, the EU antitrust watchdog fined the most widely used internet search engine a total of 8.25 billion euros.
The ruling is expected to strengthen historic regulations that will take effect the next year and attempt to limit the influence of American tech firms. Margrethe Vestager, the head of the EU’s antitrust agency, did not hold back.
“Of course, this is excellent. Now that we have the second Google judgment, it is crucial for us since it supports our enforcement operations.”