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Google Appeals $5 Billion EU Fine

The European Commission's investigation and record penalty has stoked interest closer to home. A Justice Department official reportedly told Congress that U.S. regulators could conduct their own investigation into similar practices.

Google has formally appealed the $5.05 billion fine imposed by European regulators to penalize several practices involving the internet giant's Android mobile business.

Google, the largest subsidiary of Alphabet, told Reuters it filed an appeal at the General Court of the EU, which sits in Luxembourg.

The European Union's antitrust regulator, the European Commission, said in July the record fine was in response to Google "breaching EU antitrust rules" by imposing "illegal restrictions" on Android device makers and mobile network operators to bolster Google's search engine.

The case has taken on relevance closer to home--a Justice Department official told a U.S. Senate panel last week that U.S. regulators could look at some of the practices that resulted in the European sanctions.

[Related: Google Withdraws From JEDI Bidding, Criticizes Military Decision For Single Cloud Vendor]

The practices European regulators cited as anti-competitive have gone on since 2011. They include a requirement that device makers pre-install Google's search app and Chrome browser in exchange for the right to offer access to the Google Play Store on their products, according to the commission.

The commission also claimed Google made payments to device makers and mobile network operators to exclusively pre-install Google's search app—and prevented them from using Android versions not approved by Google as a condition of offering Google apps.

Roughly 80 percent of devices in Europe run Android, according to the commission.

In the U.S., Google's mobile OS market share is around 55 percent, according to the Statista, a market research portal.

Google did not respond to a CRN request for comment by publication time.

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