Google has denied accusations by the European Commission (EC) abuse of dominant position on the market of applications for mobile devices created by the operating system (OS) Android. This was stated by senior Vice-President for legal issues Google’s Kent Walker, whose words are contained in the official company blog.
“In April, the European Commission issued a statement in which he expressed concern about how the Android system is compatible with various systems, and how we distribute their applications. Today we sent a reply which demonstrated how the Android system allows to take into account the balance of interests between users, developers, manufacturers and operators of mobile networks,” said Walker. “Android has not restricted competition in Europe, but rather expanded it,” – he stressed.
on 20 April the authorities of the European Union officially presented the American company charged with violating the antitrust laws. According to the regulators in the EU, Google insists that manufacturers of smartphones with Android OS pre-installed application American Corporation (the Chrome browser, Google Search, Google Maps and other programs) and set them as the default application. According to the European Commissioner for competition, Margrethe Vestager, the behavior of Google deprives consumers the breadth of selection of mobile apps and services, and also creates obstacles to innovation.
Previously, the European Commissioner Vestager told Reuters that the penalty for Google in the EU could reach $ 7.4 billion, or about 10% of its revenues in European countries in 2015
Similar claims were filed against Google in Russia. Thus, FAS September 14, 2015 declared the company Google (Google, Inc. and Google Ireland Ltd.) in conflict with the law on protection of competition (part 1 of article 10) on the complaint of “Yandex”. Google disagreed with the FAS decision and challenged it in court. Various courts have repeatedly recognized the rightness of the FAS.
Google Disagrees with the EC on paragraphs
According to Walker, the EC approval is based on the idea that Android is not competing with Apple, and this idea is wrong. “Even in the survey of the market conducted by the European Commission, 89% of respondents confirmed that Android and Apple competitors. To ignore the competition with Apple – is to miss the key characteristic of a competitive market of smartphones,” – he stressed. Walker noted that signs of strong competition are “the rapid development of innovation, a wide range of products and declining prices.”
in addition, according to the Google spokesperson, the EC is underestimating the “threat of fragmentation of the mobile ecosystem”. The idea is that when the system is open and flexible, each device maker can modify for themselves. This leads to a lack of a single coherent version of the OS, and therefore, the risks for developers who have to make multiple versions of applications for different versions of the same OS. “To solve this problem, we, together with the equipment manufacturers try to establish a minimum level of compatibility with Android devices. Our agreement on the compatibility of guess the variety, but give confidence to developers that they have created applications will work correctly on thousands of different phones and tablets,” explained Walker.
According to him, such a balance of “stimulating competition in the market of devices supporting the Android OS and competition with Apple devices”. “The Commission’s statement could worsen the fragmentation hurt Android OS and competition on the mobile market”, – said the representative of Google.
Another issue, which Google does not agree with the EC, – to install the Google apps in the package. “The Commission argues that we should not offer to install Google apps package. None of the producers are not obliged to download apps on Google Android phones,” said Walker.
According to him, competitors Android (including iPhone and Windows mobile from Microsoft) “not only offer the same thing, but offer a much smaller selection of applications that are compatible with their systems.” At the same time Google apps on Android are typically less than one third of pre-installed and take up little space in memory, said Walker. “The user may remove any of our applications at any time. And definitely, mobile device manufacturers can preinstall the apps of competitors along with ours. This means that there is no infringement of competition,” he concluded.
Walker said that the proliferation of such products as Google Search, together with Google Play allows the company to provide the entire application package for free. “This free distribution allows lower prices for smartphone manufacturers and customers, while allowing us to maintain a significant investment in Android and Play”, he said.
the Dialogue will continue.
today on Android are more than 24 thousand devices from more than 1.3 thousand brands. “Android has revealed the potential for a new generation of innovation and competition across platforms. According to various estimates, today it is the most open, flexible, and differentiated from mobile platforms,” – said the representative of Google.
Walker said that “the open source platform is a fragile ecosystem”. “They survive and develop through a balance of interests of all stakeholders, including users and developers. The Commission’s approach may violate this balance and send the unintended signal in favor of closed platforms compared to open,” he said.
the decision of the EC could have a negative impact not only on Google but also on handset manufacturers, mobile operators, developers, and customers, confident in Google. “That’s where we want to convince the Commission in his answer. We look forward to continued dialogue,” concluded Walker.
Russian news Agency TASS