Brussels, BELGIUM — Google offered its response today to the EU’s investigation into whether it imposed restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators in an anti-competitive way. Google said that Android and its free, open source operating system gives hundreds of manufacturers flexibility and thousands of app developers easy access to internet users – but that anyone can use Android without Google services, tailoring their device to feature whatever apps they want.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association has supported open systems, open networks and competitive markets since 1972. Google is now a member of the trade association. The following can be attributed to CCIA Europe Director Jakob Kucharczyk:
“We have always supported policies and enforcement actions that promote competition and benefit consumers. This investigation must be seen against the broader economic context. Europe’s mobile economy has been on a path of unprecedented growth. App downloads are booming, revenues generated by European apps continue to grow fast and far more than a million Europeans found work in app development. It goes without saying that the Android ecosystem has been fundamentally important to this development, spurring competition, innovation and consumer choice.”
“Attempts to make the Android ecosystem more competitive, attractive and less fragmented should not fall afoul of competition rules. Google’s suite of apps provides consistency across devices, gives consumers an attractive out-of-the box experience, and guarantees full functionality of third party apps. Phone manufacturers and mobile operators are free to pre-load their apps. Consumers are always free to download and use alternative services. In fact, a lot of the most popular apps are direct Google competitors. These are all elements of a highly competitive and balanced environment.”