Google plans to fight EU antitrust fine in court from September

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Reuters reports that Alphabet’s Google will bring a case to overturn the record fine of 4.34 billion euro’s (5.15 billion dollars) handed to it by the EU watchdog. The case against the fine will be heard in September over five days, at Europe’s second-highest court. Google got the fine for anti-competitive behaviour with its Android OS.

The European Commission made a 2018 decision saying that Google had used its popular Android operating system, to engage in anti-competitive behaviour against rivals, from as far back as 2011. Android, used for free by many smartphone makers, is on almost 80% of the world’s smartphones.

A history of anti-competitive behaviour

The case is an important one, as it comes ahead of the bloc’s three other cases against Google, due to its market power derived from the prevalence of Android. Google has quickly racked up antitrust fines in the last decade, totalling up to more than 8 billion euros in the EU. The hearing will start on September 27, according to sources familiar with the matter. Google did not immediately respond to these claims.

The General Court, based in Luxembourg, said it could not confirm the hearing as the dates have not been made public. The five-day event is longer than the average, though not unusual.

Google vs the European Commission

Google has the backing of lobbying groups Application Developers Alliance, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, Android device makers Gigaset Communications and HMD Global (the exclusive licensee of the Nokia brand for phones), and Norway-based Opera Software.

The Commission is backed by the European Consumer Organization (BEUC), German publishing groups BDZV and VDZ, French search engine Qwant, Czech search engine Seznam, and lobbying group FairSearch. The case is T-604/18 Google vs European Commission.