The European Commission said it acted illegally by forcing makers of Android phones to install its software. It drove millions of users straight to Googles own search engine.

The fine – the biggest ever handed down by the EU for an anti-trust penalty – will take Google 14 days to pay. The firm is worth £645bn.

EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said: “Google has required manufacturers to pre-install the Google search and browser apps on devices running on the Android mobile operating system.”

She said operators were only given access to apps through the Google Play store if they used the Google search engine.

Sundar Pichai and an androif phone with eu flag GETTY

CHARGED: Google CEO Sundar Pichai will appeal the £3.8billion EU fine

“They have denied European consumers the benefits of effective competition”

Margrethe Vestager, EU Commissioner

Investigators also found the firm paid some manufacturers and networks to put the Google search app on their phones.

Ms Vestager said: “They have denied European consumers the benefits of effective competition in the important mobile sphere.

“This is illegal under EU anti-trust rules.” Googles CEO Sundar Pichai said his company would challenge the ruling. And a tweet from the Google Europe account said: “Android has created more choice for everyone, not less.

“A vibrant ecosystem, rapid innovation and lower prices are classic hallmarks of robust competition.” Google has 90 days to stop the banned practices.

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daily star

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