‘Not supported by facts!’ EU nightmare as bloc set for costly legal fight over £3.8BN fine
Nearby Share: Android explain how users can use new feature
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
The tech giant will argue that the European Commission was wrong to demand changes to allegedly anti-competitive contracts with manufacturers of phones running its Android operating system. The row will be played out in a five-day battle at the EU’s General Court in Luxembourg. The case is part of a trio of decisions that have been at the heart of EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager’s attempt to curb the growing dominance of Silicon Valley.
She fined Alphabet Inc, Google’s parent company, £7billion in total and is still investigating the firm’s stranglehold over digital advertising.
The main issue this week is the EU’s complaints against contracts that require Android phone makers to include Google’s search and browser applications when they want to licence the Play app store.
The required bundle includes 11 of Google’s apps, including YouTube, Maps and Gmail.
Eurocrats say the measure is an illegal restraint, while the tech giant says it undermines the businesses strategy that allows it to give away the Android operating system for free.
Google generates vast advertising revenue from the agreement by using banner and video adverts across Android devices.
A spokesman for the firm said: “Android has created more choice for everyone, not less, and supports thousands of successful businesses in Europe and around the world.
“This case isn’t supported by the facts or the law.”
The firm insists that by making Android free and open source, it has helped lower the price of mobile phones and spurred on competition with its main rival, Apple.
Google wants the EU’s 2018 decision completely annulled.
But failing in its court battle with the bloc could completely reshape the smartphone market.
The European Commission has declined to comment on the case.
But it has previously argued that Google’s strategy restricts competition and reduces choices for consumers.
MUST READ: Boris told Merkel departure will provide HUGE opening for UK
Android is the most popular mobile operating system, dominating the European market with four out of five devices in Europe using the software.
An expert has told Sky News that he expects another appeal from Google after the initial five-day hearing in Luxembourg.
Thomas Vinje, counsel to FairSearch and partner at law firm Clifford Chance, said: “”Antitrust enforcement is not, on its own at least, sufficiently robust, sufficiently effective, to be able to address these really extraordinary concerns. I’m not sure the world has ever faced a situation where there is such a concentration of power in such a central element of today’s economy, and antitrust law is not up to the task.
Boris told Merkel departure will provide HUGE opening for UK [INSIGHT]
Yanis Varoufakis dissects EU ‘charade’ to hit back at Joe Biden [ANALYSIS]
‘Don’t talk over me!’ Pierce erupts on GMB over Rayner ‘scum comments [VIDEO]
European Union is ‘new communism’ says Nigel Farage in 2013
“That is largely because they’re complex cases.
“They’re more complex than rail roads or oil distribution – I’m not saying those are simple – but the issues faced in Big Tech today are a hell of a lot more complicated. So there is a hell of a lot more room for obfuscation… and dragging things out.
“So by virtue of the completely appropriate rights that defendants have in these cases, the cases just take too long.”
Source: Read Full Article