July 18 (UPI) -- Google faces a $5 billion fine after the European Union on Wednesday sided with Android over a case involving apps for mobile devices, setting a global record for antitrust penalties.
The EU fine exceeds last year's then-record penalty of $2.7 billion following an investigation into Google's shopping-search service.
The EU's antitrust regulator began a probe into whether Google had abused dominance of the Android operating system to promote its own mobile apps and services including the company's search engine.
Android, which runs more than 80 percent of the world's smartphones, come pre-loaded with Google apps, including the Google search engine.
Competitors say Android's dominance gives Google an unfair advantage in attracting users to its apps and then using data from the apps to target advertising.
The EU case questioned whether Google illegally tried to encourage handset makers to pre-install the apps and services for free while imposing conditions to the agreements.
Google says Android, which is free for manufacturers to use, has increased competition among smartphone makers, lowering the prices for consumers.
Google says the allegations are false because manufacturers typically install many rival apps on Android devices, and consumers can download others if they choose.