In Europe’s biggest ever anti-trust claim, Google is facing a potential US$ 5 Billion fine for anti-competitive practices relating to their use of the mobile Android operating system to “stifle competition.”

According to the charge, Google uses the mobile operating system (which is installed on 80% of the smartphones in the world), to unfairly favour its own search engine and mobile apps.

Apparently, manufacturers are forced into contracts requiring them to pre-install its search service and web browser in order to have access to the Google Play store, are paid by Google to install their search engine exclusively, and are threatened with being blocked from the app store if non-approved versions of Android are used.

Google has 90 days to cease this uncompetitive behaviour, or face additional penalties of up to 5% of the average daily turnover of their parent company Alphabet.

Challenging The Ruling

In its defence, Google is pointing to stiff competition from Apple, as well as the fact that phone makers often install competing applications as well, to show that they are not suppressing competition.

They are expected to challenge the ruling.