The European Union is hitting Google with a record $5 billion fine for abusing the market dominance of its Android mobile phone operating system.
The fine, which had been widely expected this week, is 4.34 billion euros, or about $5 billion. The EU is also ordering Google to "stop and to not re-engage" in business practices that it says Google relied on to cement its dominance, including bundling its search and browser apps with its Android operating system.
The EU had investigated how Google requires mobile phone makers to include the search giant's apps when they license the Android operating system. The other practices banned by the EU include Google's payments that were conditional on exclusively pre-installing Google Search and preventing device makers from installing competing versions of Android.
"Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine," EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement. "These practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on the merits."
Google said that instead of restricting competition, it did the opposite. "Android has created more choice for everyone, not less," said Google spokesman Al Verney.
"We will appeal the Commission's decision," he added.
The EU's fine is the biggest ever imposed on a company for anticompetitive behavior.
In June 2017, regulators already charged Google 2.42 billion euros ($2.8 billion) for favoring its shopping listings in search results. Google appealed that decision, while rolling out a compromise this year that lets competitive comparison shopping engines bid for slots in an auction, a system that critics say still favors the tech giant.