Google finally responds to the charges filed by the European Commission
The European Commission filed anti-trust charges against Alphabet Inc. on Wednesday. The EC claimed that Google’s Android operating system is violating the laws of fair competition. However, Google contradicts these allegations by stating that it is an open innovation platforms that benefits the manufacturers and consumers.
Google is operating under the umbrella of Alphabet and has been charges by Ms. Margrethe Vestager of European Commission. As per the executive’s announcement in a press conference, the search engine giant is stifling competition via unfair means.
The investigation conducted by the EC mentioned in its Statement of Objections, the tech giant is offering monetary incentives original equipment manufacturers (OEM) of smartphones so that they pre-install a range of Google’s applications such as Gmail and Google Chrome. This stops the manufacturers from pre-installing apps of rivals. Moreover, the company was even accused of forcing OEMs to install Google Search as a default engine.
GOOG has refuted the charges through its official blogs where it claimed that its business model has been designed in a manner that enables the OEMs to regulate low manufacturing costs with more flexibility. This is the reason why they prefer to use their platform in contrast to others. Android is offering more control to consumers on their smartphone. They also highlighted that the OEMs are not forced to sign the partnership agreement and it is voluntary.
The company has cited Amazon as a prime example, which is making use of Android in its Fire smartphone range. The company tweaks the platform as per its need. When it comes to the allegations pertaining to the pre-installation of the Google apps, the company defended itself by stating that Android is free of cost for the masses since the price for the upgrades, security and development are governed by the revenues through the various application. This is why they have pre-distributed the application on Android.
Once the mobile phones get certified, the OEMs are free to pre-install any application they desire. However, it should support the ecosystem of Android and run the Google apps suite. This method is being used by other tech giants such as Microsoft Corporation, Facebook and Amazon.com Inc. moreover; nobody stops the users from downloading the apps of rivals whatsoever. For instance, one can download the Firefox browser as a replacement to Google Chrome; YouTube can be replaced by Soundcloud etc.
However, it needs to be noted that the charges by the European Union are merely based on the pre-installation of Google apps. The other apps that are later pre-installed by the OEMs are not directly competing with Google’s core services like the Play Store app market or Google Search. However, because of the former devices many are not able to run the software of others. The tech giant defended itself by stating that the published rules have been coined in the best interest to user and provides a safe platform for consumers centered on innovation. Google so far has not been able to satisfy the EC with its bargain.