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FairSearch applauds formal EU charges against Google

EU says Google abused dominance of Android operating system

Brussels, 20 April 2016 – Statement by Thomas Vinje, FairSearch legal counsel and spokesman:

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s decision to bring formal charges against Google is a crucial step to end abusive business practices surrounding the Android mobile platform.

FairSearch, the lead complainant in the Google Android case, applauds the decision by Vestager to issue a Statement of Objections against Google, which makes the operating system software used on a majority of mobile phones and tablets.

Google requires manufacturers using key apps on Android such as Google Play to also install others that it specifies. Virtually every phone maker using Google Android in the European Union has bowed to Google’s demands, suppressing competition by other app makers and preventing free choice for consumers.

The transition to the mobile internet has posed a threat to Google’s advertising revenues. Google has protected its revenues by imposing the display on phones of its apps and related services that collect data vital for targeting consumers. That deprives competitors of data they need to attract advertisers, leaving them unable to challenge Google’s dominance.

Google launched Android as an open source project, allowing anyone to change it and write a new version. Today, Google actively hinders the possibility of developing versions that might lead to new operating systems able to vigorously compete against Android.

Google effectively imposes exclusivity on both smart phone makers and wireless providers with revenue sharing arrangements that require them to promote Google’s own applications to the detriment of competitors.

For more Information: secretariat@fairsearcheurope.org