Google loses EU court antitrust challenge

STORY: Google suffered a big setback in the EU on Wednesday (September 14).

A court ruled the search giant must pay a $4.1 billion penalty for using its Android mobile operating system to thwart rivals.

It is a record fine for an antitrust violation.

The Alphabet-owned firm had challenged an earlier ruling, but the decision was largely upheld by Europe's second-highest court.

The European Commission first made the decision against Google four years ago.

It said the firm used Android to keep its dominance in general internet search through restrictions, and making payments to large manufacturers and mobile network operators.

Google said it acted like many other businesses, and that such payments and agreements helped keep Android as a free operating system.

But the court agreed with the Commission's view.

It argued Google imposed unlawful restrictions on manufacturers of Android mobile devices and network operators.

Google said it was 'disappointed' by the decision.

The ruling is a boost for EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager - who has made a crackdown on Big Tech a key part of her job.

She is currently also investigating Google's digital advertising business - as well as other Silicon Valley giants like Meta and Apple.

The EU antitrust enforcer has fined Google more than $8 billion over the last decade in three separate investigations.