European regulators have hit Google with a €4.3 billion ($5 billion) antitrust fine for abusing the dominance of its Android mobile operating system. It’s the highest anti-competition penalty ever imposed on a company by the EU.

The EU found the US company guilty of using its Android mobile operating system to illegally block competitors. Shares in Google’s parent company Alphabet slid more than 1% in US premarket trading.

Google has abused Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine. These practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on the merits.

The EU ordered Google to end the illegal conduct within 90 days or face additional penalties of up to 5%. Google’s Android operating system is the world’s most popular mobile software system, and is installed on more than 80% of smart phones globally.

The previous record was a €2.4 billion penalty on Google for manipulating “search results” to promote its own price comparison services over those from competitors.

The European Commission continues the investigation on a third Google antitrust case. Competition authorities have said Google could have used its AdSense advertising service to thwart rivals. Google is accused of blocking rivals in on-line search advertising. / ABC Flash Point Cyber News 2018.

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