On Wednesday, the European Union brought down an antitrust fine of €4.34 billion—or about $5.06 billion—against Google, for anticompetitive practices related to Android, the company’s mobile operating system. It’s the European Commission’s largest antitrust fine ever, topping the previous record of €2.42 billion—which was also levied against Google, just last year, for abuses of its search-engine dominance.
At issue is how Google has used the proliferation of Android, which runs on more than 80 percent of smartphones worldwide, to entrench its other services, especially Search. In exchange for getting Android for free, Google demands that phone makers pre-install Google apps and services, like Search and the Chrome browser. The EC regulators contend that this default stifles competing apps and services.