Due to claims from the European Commission that Google has used its Android operating system to "cement its dominant position in general internet search", the Internet giant has been hit with a massive £3.9 billion fine – a record amount.
The European Commission's competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager laid out the case against Google, claiming it has broke the law in three key areas. First, it requires Android device manufacturers to pre-install Chrome, Google's own browser, as well as the Google Search app. Second, Google has allegedly made payments to both larger manufacturers and network providers in return of them exclusively installing the Google Search app. And third, it has allegedly threatened to deny access to key apps to any manufacturers making devices powered by "alternative" versions of Android.
Google must now rectify its issues by stopping those practices. Google's parent company, Alphabet, has been given 90 days in order to do or else it could be hit with more fines of up to five per cent of its daily turnover.
A similar case was brought against the company in Russia, and as a result, Android now offers users in Russia a choice of which default search engine it would like to use.
Unsurprisingly, Google has disputed its punishment, claiming it to be "unjustified". A spokeperson for the company said "Android has created more choice for everyone, not less." Google plans to appeal against the European Commission's decision. [BBC]