A whopping $5 billion

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Vestager told reporters that the fine, the largest ever imposed by the European Commission, reflects the "seriousness and sustained nature" of the violations.

[T] he bloc's antitrust regulator found Wednesday that Google had abused the dominance of its Android operating system, which runs more than 80 percent of the world's smartphones, to promote and entrench its own mobile apps and services, particularly the company's search engine.

As for Google Search, Android users wouldn't necessarily have built-in native access to things like Google Assistant artificial intelligence (AI) voice assistant or the Google Search bar that often comes pre-installed on an Android phone's home screen. Denying rivals a chance to innovate and compete on the merits. Google doesn't force any company to follow its rules if it wants to fork Android - here, Pichai points to Amazon's Fire devices as proof.

A third case also stands against the company from 2016, in which the European Union has accused the firm of preventing third parties using its Adsense product from displaying search advertisements from Google's competitors.

In June past year, the European Union fined Google $2.7 billion for illegally steering users toward its comparison shopping website.

The EU claims these practices have helped Google gain a dominant position in the mobile search market by making it near impossible for mobile search competitors to gain any foothold on Android devices. "The Commission decision requires Google to bring its illegal conduct to an end in an effective manner within 90 days of the decision". "A vibrant ecosystem, rapid innovation and lower prices are classic hallmarks of robust competition". But Google will be forced to make significant changes to the way Android works, and ink new deals with European carriers as well as Android device makers.

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The Commission's full press release is available at this link. Regulators came out with a preliminary ruling in April 2016 in which they said Google had market shares exceeding 90 percent in most European countries in the realm of licensable mobile operating systems.

"Phone makers don't have to include our services; and they're also free to pre-install competing apps alongside ours".

During the investigation, device manufacturers told the Commission that the Google Play Store is a "must-have" app, which consumers expect to have pre-installed, especially since they can not lawfully install it themselves. It said that "at a minimum", Google has to stop and to not re-engage in any of the three types of practices.

Consumer advocates welcomed the Commission's decision.

Google has a long history of pushing back and it is likely to drag out its appeal against the fine. "In competitive mobile markets, consumers should be able to make a meaningful choice between search engines and browsers and which apps they can download on their phones and tablets".

"Today's decision rejects the business model that supports Android, which has created more choice for everyone, not less".

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