Google begun its appeal Monday to overturn a $5 billion European Union (EU) antitrust penalty imposed for stifling competition through the dominance of its Android operating system.
Google, three years after receiving the fine from the European Commission alongside an order to stop abusing its control of the Android operating system, the giant Tech is appealing and contending that its Android operating system for mobile devices has boosted competition rather than foreclosing it.
Google, is going to argue that free and open source Android has led to lower-priced phones and spurred competition with its chief rival, Apple.
The $5 billion European Union antitrust penalty is still the biggest ever fine Brussels has imposed for anticompetitive behavior.
According to Google’s lawyers said the European Commission made a mistake by demanding changes to allegedly anti-competitive contracts with suppliers of phones running its Android operating system — the engine room for the vast majority of mobile devices in the region.
A lawyer for Google, Meredith Pickford said “the commission shut its eyes to the real competitive dynamic in this industry that between Apple Inc. and Android,” She told a five-judge panel on Monday. Regulators “mistakenly found Google to be dominant” for mobile phone software licensed to phone manufacturers. Meanwhile Apple doesn’t allow other phones to access and use its iOS system.
The five-day appeal against the decision is being heard at an European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, where the company hopes to have the Commission’s decision annulled entirely.
So far Android is the most popular mobile operating system, beating Apple’s iOS, and is found on four out of five devices across Europe.
“Google” controls more than 90% of the market for web searches. And currently, Google and its rivals are coming under pressure from planned new laws that could curb tech firms’ behavior.
The Commission had ruled that the Tech giant had broke EU rules by forcing smartphone makers to take a number of Google apps if they wanted any at all, and prevented them from selling devices with altered versions of Android.
Those specific Apps includes YouTube, Maps and Gmail, but regulators focused on the three that had the biggest market share: Google Search, Chrome and the company’s Play Store for apps.