It also said Google violated competition rules by paying phone makers to exclusively pre-install Google search on their devices. The fine is less than 1% of the company’s market capitalization which is about $830 billion. “Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine. These practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on the merits,” Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, said in a statement. The commission said the tech giant must end its current conduct within the next 90 days or it will face penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet, the parent company of Google.
Google said in a statement that it would appeal the ruling, arguing against the EU’s view that its software is restrictive of fair competition. The EU first opened its investigation into Android in 2015, two years after receiving a complaint from FairSearch. Google’s advertising business is growing much faster on mobile than desktop. The commission is still investigating a third antitrust case against Google’s search advertising service, AdSense. In a blog post defending Google’s decision to bundle search and Chrome apps on Android, Google CEO Sundar Pichai suggested the company will need to consider licensing Android to phone makers so Android could no longer be free.