Google preparing to appeal EU's €4.3bn Android fine

Emily Nicolle
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Google's Android operating system must implement changes before 28 October or face a €4.3bn fine (Source: Getty)

Google is expected to challenge European competition authorities tomorrow, as the deadline to appeal the EU's record-breaking €4.3bn fine against its parent firm Alphabet comes to pass.

The tech giant was charged by regulators over "serious illegal behaviour" with its Android operating system in July. Brussels ruled that Google had forced smartphone makers to favour its own products such as Search and Chrome if they wanted to run on Android, which is used on 80 per cent of the world’s phones.

The fine is nearly double the amount Google was asked to pay up by the watchdog last year, for which an appeals process is underway, after a separate investigation found it had abused its online shopping service to prioritise its own results.

A third case between the two is still ongoing, which looks into whether Google's Adsense product prevents third party operators from displaying ads for Google competitors.

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Though Google has until 28 October to make the necessary changes to its Android operating system and relevant company practices, the firm must file an appeals case with the European Court of Justice by tomorrow.

Google declined to comment on the impending deadline when contacted by City A.M., however its chief executive Sundar Pichai argued heavily against the EU's decision in July by accusing the investigation of having not taken into account smartphone competitors such as Apple.

"The decision ignores the fact that Android phones compete with iOS phones, something that 89 per cent of respondents to the Commission’s own market survey confirmed," wrote Pichai in a blog post.

"The Commission’s Android decision ignores the new breadth of choice and clear evidence about how people use their phones today."

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The deadline comes as Google faces questions from regulators over a data breach discovered on its soon-to-be defunct social media platform Google+ in March.

If found to be in contravention of General Data Protection Regulation legislation, Google could be fined up to four per cent its global turnover.

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