Google has faced three EU probes and 6.7 billion euros in fines so far. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
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European Union Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager coolly hit Google with a 4.3 billion euro ($5 billion) fine last week, the biggest penalty in the history of antitrust enforcement.A year earlier, when the company – already reeling from a 2.4 billion euro fine in another EU case – made quiet attempts to settle the probe into deals it has with Android phone-makers, the response was equally chilly.Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., has been one of the EU's biggest antitrust targets, with three probes, countless headlines and a steady drumbeat of smaller rivals and customers demanding action.Google declined to comment on the settlement attempts. In the weeks after the June 2017 fine in the shopping case, Google lawyers began to make overtures to their EU counterparts to express a willingness to settle the probe into Android, one of their flagship products. Google gives Android software for free to phone-makers but coerces them to preinstall Google's apps if they want the Play app store, which offers over a million programs.
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