Google Blasts the EU Commission's Ruling and questions why they refuse to consider Apple’s closed iOS system as a rival
Google blasted the EU Commission's ruling today that fined them €4.34 billion for Android's monopoly on operating systems and search. According to a new report, Google accused Brussels of trying to dismantle its lucrative business model for smartphones and other mobile devices as it considered asking for emergency court protection against the EU's record-breaking €4.3bn antitrust ruling.
The Financial Times reports that "Although the decision marks by far the most significant decision in Google's eight-year antitrust tangle with Brussels, it is just the latest in a series of attacks on American technology groups by Margrethe Vestager, the EU competition chief. Two years ago, she ordered that Ireland claw back €13bn in back taxes from rival Apple.
Ms Vestager's ruling against Google outlaws the company's core business practices that enabled the US internet group to gain a foothold on about 80 per cent of smartphones. Sundar Pichai, Google's chief executive, said that Google would appeal against a decision that 'rejects the business model that supports Android' and 'ignores . . . clear evidence about how people use their phones today.'
Although Google has yet to decide on how to change it business operations in response to the decision, the company is looking at seeking 'interim measures' with the European Court of Justice to avoid 'serious and irreparable harm' to its business. Such emergency court orders are extremely rare but could, if granted, delay the changes to business operations required to comply with Ms Vestager's ruling until Google's appeal is heard. Mr Pichai told the Financial Times that starting to charge manufacturers using Android was 'in the range of options that are available.'
Manufacturers which license Android will also be released from conditions that stop them from customising the operating system using unapproved 'forks' of the operating system on some of their devices. Ms Vestager found that the restriction prevented the wider use of Amazon's version of Android, called Fire OS.
Google 'also questioned why the commission refuses to consider Apple's closed iOS system for the iPhone as a rival.'" Google's CEO Sundar Pichai further added that "The decision ignores the fact that Android phones compete with iOS phones, something that 89 percent of respondents to the Commission's own market survey confirmed."
In a blog entry titled "Android has created more choice, not less" Pichai laid out their market position in contrast to the EU's ruling. At one point he notes that "We are concerned that today's decision will upset the careful balance that we have struck with Android, and that it sends a troubling signal in favor of proprietary systems over open platforms."
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