On Monday, Google began an appeal to reverse a $5 billion antitrust punishment issued by the European Union, claiming that its Android mobile operating system has fostered competition rather than stifled it.
Google executives told a panel of five judges at the General Court in Luxembourg at the opening of a five-day trial that Android has been a tremendous success story of competition at work, rather than holding back rivals and endangering users.
In 2018, the European Commission punished Google for using Android to hinder competitors and consolidate its dominance in general internet search since 2011.
Meredith Pickford, Google’s lawyer, told the court that, “The Commission shut its eyes to the real competitive dynamic in this industry, that between Apple and Android.”
“By defining markets too narrowly and downplaying the potent constraint imposed by the highly powerful Apple, the Commission has mistakenly found Google to be dominant in mobile operating systems and app stores, when it was in fact a vigorous market disruptor,” he said.
Pickford said Android “is an exceptional success story of the power of competition in action”.
Apple’s role was dismissed by the Commission lawyer Nicholas Khan due to its small market share in comparison to Android
“Bringing Apple into the picture doesn’t change things very much. Google and Apple pursue different models,” he told the court further.
Google denies form all the accusations claiming them false. It claims that Android smartphones must compete with Apple’s iPhone and iPad and that the Commission erred in excluding them from its study. Anti Fragmentation agreements, according to the firm, are required to maintain Android phones compatible with apps and are not a barrier to the creation of alternative operating systems.
The claim that Google banned competitive applications is also untrue, according to Google, because manufacturers generally put several rival apps on Android devices, and users can simply download others. The business claims it has a legal right to recuperate the money it spends creating Android, which it distributes to manufacturers for free, by pushing them to install Google Search, which generates the majority of its income.
Nearly a dozen other firms and trade groups have filed their own supporting papers in the case, which will be joined by Google and the Commission in this week’s arguments. The Computer and Communications Industry Association, as well as two phone makers, are among Google’s backers.