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Google puts Apple on blast as it disputes $5 billion EU fine

iOS 14 and Android 11
iOS 14 and Android 11 (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google is in court disputing a $5 billion fine over the Android operating system.
  • EU courts ruled that Google uses its dominant position to promote and require its own apps and services on Android devices.
  • Google says that the court's decision ignores Apple's presence in the market.

Google is in court fighting a €4.34 billion ($5.1 billion) fine issued in 2018 by European Union regulators over Android's market dominance. It's argument: that regulators are ignoring Apple, its biggest competitor.

The EU slapped the massive fine on Google after ruling that the company used its dominance to require its own Search and Chrome apps to be installed on the best Android phones in order to gain access to the Play Store.

Regulators also found that Google would pay manufacturers to pre-install its apps on their phones to further its dominance in search and discourage manufacturers from selling smart devices with forked versions of Android.

According to Reuters, Google Google lawyer Meredith Pickford argues that regulators aren't taking Apple's iOS into account.

The Commission shut its eyes to the real competitive dynamic in this industry, that between Apple and Android.By defining markets too narrowly and downplaying the potent constraint imposed by the highly powerful Apple, the Commission has mistakenly found Google to be dominant in mobile operating systems and app stores, when it was in fact a vigorous market disrupter.

Meanwhile, the Commission argues that Apple's market share is too small to really matter. Commission lawyer Nicholas Khan says that bringing Apple into the equation "doesn't change things very much. Google and Apple pursue different models."

Following the 2018 fine, Google CEO Sundar Pichai has since responded by defending the company's position, stating that it has created more choice, not less, by offering plenty of device types and different price points.

Google has also implemented several changes in how it bundles apps and allowing forked devices. However, it seems as though Google will need to make a stronger case for itself and Apple's role in the market if it wants to avoid paying up.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.

10 Comments
  • They should fine Apple. Apple doesn't give out or license it's OS to OEMs, restricting iOS to just its phone and Apple forces you to use their own apps and didn't allow you to change the default app as easily as you can in Android. Also, Apple doesn't make it apps for Android where as Google makes its apps for both iOS and Android
  • They have fined Apple. That is the whole point of the EU, fine big businesses.
  • I don't think that's the whole point of the EU... But if it was, that would be pretty cool!
  • Unless you're a US company trading in the EU and if you start to do well then the EU sues you for making a good profit.
  • They're not being fined for making a good profit. They're being fined for breaking European Laws.
    We don't live in the Wild Wild West in Europe. We have a Free Market with rules to ensure it remains free, unlike the USA where the "anything goes" attitude has left Americans enslaved to Big Tech, tied on endless contracts with carriers and with a handful of people dictating what an entire Nation can buy, read and watch. If American companies want to get our money by entering our market, they'll play by our rules.
  • All of the American tech companies should abandon the oh so smug and superior acting EU and let them go back to using Nokia flip phones.
  • Please, be our guest.
    Let's see how long the "mighty American tech companies" would survive without our money and by relying only on 'muricans and their constant begging for subsidies from carriers to even buy an iPhone to begin with...ahahahahah
  • There is that smug superiority I was talking about. Thanks for proving my point.
  • Man, crazy how these companies can throw billions at each other's as it they were mere pocket change.
  • LOL Apparently Google doesn't know how to google things.
    Otherwise they'd see that Apple's marketshare in Europe is around 30% in the entire continent, with some countries having its presence at below 10% (like Poland with 6%).
    So yeah...nice try...but you've abused your dominant position, you've stifled competition and did your utmost to prevent any threat to your dominance (see Google's practices in regards to Windows Phone as an example). Now it's time to pay up.
    And Google should be glad.
    If I was the President of the EU Commission, I'd be moving forward with a forced split up of Android from the company, under penalty of banning Google services in Europe for continued violation of competition laws.