Belfast Telegraph

Android has expanded competition, claims Google in response to EU claims

Google has rejected allegations by the European Commission that it has broken competition rules and abused the market dominance of its Android mobile operating system.

The US technology giant has responded to anti-trust charges issued by the EU earlier this year that raised concerns over it giving unfair prominence to its own apps at the expense of others on the Android platform.

Google's general counsel Kent Walker said in a blog post: "Android hasn't hurt competition, it's expanded it.

"Android means manufacturers don't have to buy or build expensive mobile operating systems. As a result, smartphones are now available at dramatically lower prices - as little as 45 euros - and have become much more accessible to many more people.

"Today, more than 24,000 devices from over 1,300 brands run on Android. And European developers are able to distribute their apps to over a billion people around the world. Android is not a one-way street, it's a multi-lane highway of choice."

Google faces a fine or demands that it change the way it operates if the EU rules against it, having sent a statement of objections to the company in April.

Among the complaints was the claim that strenuous requirements are placed on companies using Android, as well as incentives being offered to manufacturers to use Google apps on their phones.

"No manufacturer is obliged to preload any Google apps on an Android phone," Mr Walker said, adding that Google offers manufacturers a suite of Google apps and basic services, something it claims rivals including Apple and Microsoft also do, with "much less choice in the apps that come with their phones".

The European Commission is yet to comment on Google's response.

The tech giant is involved in a separate case with the European Commission over the way it displays shopping links in search results.