Google Play in EU Antitrust Sites as Android Fine Appeal pending by Stocksak

© Stocksak. FILE PHOTO. The logo for Google LLC can been seen at the Google Store Chelsea in Manhattan. New York City. New York, U.S.A., November 17, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS, (Stocksak), -Alphabet unit Google’s Google Play Store is under investigation by the EU, the company stated in a regulatory filing. This could lead to a further billion-euro fine for the U.S. tech titan.

After three investigations into Google’s business practices, Google has paid 8.25 billion euros ($8.24 Billion) in EU antitrust penalties over the past decade.

“In May 2022. The EC (European Commission), and CMA (Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority), each opened a formal investigation into Google Play’s business practices,” Google stated in a quarterly earnings file dated Oct. 25, 2018.

The European Union antitrust watchdog has declined to comment.

Two people familiar with the matter told Stocksak that EU antitrust regulators are looking into whether Google’s threat of removing apps from its Play Store if developers use other payment options rather than its own billing system has caused harm to the developers.

Developers have criticized the excessive fees charged by Apple (NASDAQ:) for their mobile app stores.

Separately Google stated on Thursday that it will appeal its record EU antitrust fine of 4.11 billion euro at Europe’s top court. It was issued after a lower tribunal dismissed its challenge last month.

The Luxembourg-based General Court backed the 2018 decision of Commission but reduced the fine from 4.34 billion euros to 4.125 billion.

The European Union competition watchdog agreed that Google had placed unconstitutional restrictions on manufacturers of Android mobile phones and mobile network operators in order to consolidate its dominant position as a search engine.

“We are preparing for our appeal. According to a spokesperson from Google, the court deadline is December 1.

The company cannot appeal to the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg on legal matters.

The bloc is strengthening its antitrust power through landmark tech rules. They are limiting online gatekeepers, which are companies that control access to their platforms, data, and they will have to comply with them in the first quarter of 2024.

($1 = 0.9990 euros)

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