HMD, Gigaset Support Google in EC Court Battle

Google received a boost in its fight against a €4.3 billion (US$4.75billion) fine levied by the European Commission (EC), as a court gave permission for phone makers Gigaset and HMD Global to defend the search giant in the upcoming lawsuit.

The US company is appealing both the penalty and an order to drop anti-competitive business practices, which the EC levied in July 2018 after ruling the company had abused the dominant position of its operating system. It said Google pre-installed the Chrome browser and search app on devices running Android, helping it cement its position in general internet search.

Reuters reported Gigaset and HMD Global had been cleared to participate in the legal fight by the EU’s General Court in Luxembourg. The court case is due to take place in 2020.

Google will also be backed by tech lobby group the Application Developers Alliance, along with browser company Opera Software, and the Computer and Communications Industry Association, of which the search giant is a member.

The EC, meanwhile, will be supported by lobby group Fairsearch (which first complained about Google’s practices), European search engines Seznam and Qwant, and two German publishing companies.

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