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Photo: Michele Tantussi/Getty Images

The EU has imposed a record $5 billion fine on Google for its Android business practices — but the biggest impact is likely to come with new rules for how the company does business.

At issue: Historically, Google has required Android device makers that offer its Google Play app store to pre-install Google’s own applications. That’s the biggest of a variety of practices the EU says Google uses to maintain its dominance.

The penalty:

  • The $5 billion penalty (4.3 billion euros) is higher than the 2.4 billion euro fine that EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager hit Google with in a previous case about online comparison shopping.
  • Google now has 90 days to end its “illegal conduct.” But the company says it intends to appeal the decision.

Why it matters: Looking back to the Microsoft antitrust case 20 years ago, the fines were the least of the firm’s issues. More troublesome for Microsoft were specific conduct remedies the EU ordered, such as forcing Microsoft to allow PC buyers there to choose a rival browser.

  • But the biggest impact was the change in thinking that its antitrust ordeal forced upon Microsoft, which heavily weighed future business decisions based on how they might be viewed by regulators in both the U.S. and Europe.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s take: “The decision ignores the fact that Android phones compete with iOS phones…It also misses just how much choice Android provides” to phone makers, app developers and consumers.

Beyond Mountain View: Google has been hit hard in Europe. So far, however, both Facebook and Amazon have avoided this level of scrutiny, despite growing fears about their power.

What's next: We'll be watching whether this move widens the gap between Brussels and Washington, where antitrust enforcers have thus far been wary of taking on Big Tech. We’ll also watch how it plays out in the larger picture of EU-U.S. tensions provoked by the Trump administration’s trade moves and rhetoric.

Go deeper: Axios’ Sara Fischer has more on the EU’s move against Google.

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - World

Skripal poisoning suspects linked to Czech blast, as country expels 18 Russians

Combined images released by British police in 2018 of Alexander Petrov (L) and Ruslan Boshirov, who are suspected of carrying out an attack in the in the southern English city of Salisbury using Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, and also the2014 Czech depot explosion. Photo: Metropolitan Police via Getty Images

Czech police on Saturday connected two Russian men suspected of carrying out a poisoning attack in Salisbury, England, with a deadly ammunition depot explosion southeast of the capital, Prague, per Reuters.

Driving the news: Czech officials announced Saturday they're expelling 18 Russian diplomats they accuse of being involved in the blast in Vrbětice, AP notes. Czech police said later they're searching for two men carrying several passports — including two with the names Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

Indianapolis mass shooting suspect legally bought 2 guns, police say

Marion County Forensic Services vehicles are parked at the site of a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Friday. Photo: Jeff Dean/AFP via Getty Images

The suspected gunman in this week's mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis legally purchased two "assault rifles" believed to have been used in the attack, police said late Saturday.

Of note: The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's statement that Brandon Scott Hole, 19, bought the rifles last July and September comes a day after the FBI told news outlets that a "shotgun was seized" from the suspect in March 2020 after his mother raised concerns about his mental health.

U.S. and China agree to take joint climate action

US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry waves as he arrives at the Elysee Presidential Palace on March 10, 2021 in Paris. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Despite an increasingly tense relationship, the U.S. and China agreed Saturday to work together to tackle global climate change, including by "raising ambition" for emissions cuts during the 2020s — a key goal of the Biden administration.

Why it matters: The joint communique released Saturday evening commits the world's two largest emitters of greenhouse gases to work together to keep the most ambitious temperature target contained in the Paris Climate Agreement viable by potentially taking additional emissions cuts prior to 2030.