Google claims EU ignored Apple in $5.1B antitrust appeal

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Google has attacked the European Commission in its bid to avoid paying a 4.34 billion euro ($5.1 billion) antitrust fine from 2018, claiming that the regulator ignored Apple when examining Android's impact on competition.




In 2018, Google was fined a record 4.34 billion for breaking antitrust rules, including claims by the Commission that it imposed restrictions on carriers and smartphone producers using Android to maintain its search dominance. In its rebuttal to try and get out of the file, Google is dragging Apple into the argument.

At the start of a five-day hearing on Monday, Google representatives told a panel of five General Court judges that the European Commission got it wrong about Android's competitiveness. In reality, the market share of Apple shows that there's competition at work, reports Reuters.

"The Commission shut its eyes to the real competitive dynamic in this industry, that between Apple and Android, said Google lawyer Meredith Pickford.

"By defining markets too narrowly and downplaying the potential constraint imposed by the highly powerful Apple, the Commission has mistakenly found Google to be dominant in mobile operating systems and app stores, when it was in fact a vigorous market," he continued. Android therefore "is an exceptional success story of the power of competition in action."

The Commission's Nicholas Khan told the court "Bringing Apple into the picture doesn't change things very much. Google and Apple pursue different models."

Khan added that Google's agreements on preinstalling Google Search, the Play Store, and Chrome on devices didn't allow for competition to foster on Android devices. Google's dominance and the high barriers of entry for competitors made a "virtuous circle for Google but a vicious circle for anybody else."

While the five-day hearing will take place across the week, a verdict may not be determined until 2022.

Read on AppleInsider
maximara

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,441member
    So is this like getting pulled over for speeding and complaining to the officer that someone else was actually going faster than you were? Plus they were driving worse than you were so they’re actually breaking the law more so you shouldn’t get a ticket.
    edited September 27 watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 16
    Poor Google, don’t they realize that Apple isn’t a monopoly?
    baconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 16
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,130member
    Snitches get stitches.
    pumpkin_kingwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 16
    Google has a different business model from Apple. Google wants to make Android phones for the rest of the people. Then it cannot hurt the people it wants to help. 
    ericthehalfbee
  • Reply 5 of 16
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,304member
    MplsP said:
    So is this like getting pulled over for speeding and complaining to the officer that someone else was actually going faster than you were? Plus they were driving worse than you were so they’re actually breaking the law more so you shouldn’t get a ticket.
    No, if you read the article you would have come away finding that the EU did not consider Apple's iOS to be any competition in the marketplace. Strange but true.
    I don't see that as anymore understandable than had it been some competition authority making a ruling against Apple that did not consider Android or it's open-sourced relatives to be any competition in the market. 

    Apple very often plays off Android being competition when arguing against regulators making rules that may affect them. 

    Of course none of these arguments may keep the EU and US from ganging up against both of them. The tides seem to be turning against Apple and Google. 
    edited September 27
  • Reply 6 of 16
    "But, but, but look over there."

    Such a common logical fallacy is whataboutism. We need some global focus on this particular tool of argument, a true idiot beacon.
    baconstangericthehalfbeewatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 16
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,375member
    MplsP said:
    So is this like getting pulled over for speeding and complaining to the officer that someone else was actually going faster than you were? Plus they were driving worse than you were so they’re actually breaking the law more so you shouldn’t get a ticket.
    Not quite. This is like getting pulled over for speeding and then complaining to the officer that the sport car that just passed by doing the speed limit, not only look faster but is capable of going a lot faster than your car.

    Not only is Apple not being accused of what Google lawyers thinks they are being fined for. Google is not even being accused of it. Google is not being fined for their dominance in the mobile OS market. (Not now at least.) So claiming that Apple also has a dominant presence in the mobile OS market is a moot point in this case. Google is being accused of abusing their dominance in the mobile OS market by dictating how mobile device makers that uses Android (both licensed and open source)  can market the devices they sell. Thus limiting competition in the Android device market.  

    Much like how Microsoft got in anti-trust trouble for dictating to PC vendors what software can come pre-installed (instead of on floppies or a disc) and what software must be bundled with a computer that has Windows pre-installed. Or whether they can even sell a computer without Windows, if they want a Windows license. As far as I'm aware of, Microsoft has never been fined for having a monopoly with Windows. They were fined (both in the US and EU) for abusing that monopoly and illegally trying to maintain their monopoly with anti-competitive practices. 
    aderutterbaconstangviclauyyccrowleybadmonkwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 16
    Davidw is correct. If Apple were letting 3rd parties sell customised iOS devices - but only if they included Apple apps as defaults, then Apple would be doing the same thing. But Apple don’t let 3rd parties sell devices with customised versions of iOS do they?

    Google has been doing exactly the same thing that Microsoft did.

    If Google were the only people selling android devices there would be no problem.  
    ericthehalfbeewatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 16
    Different business model. 

    Apple makes money selling stuff.

    Google makes money selling info on the people that buy / use their stuff.
    viclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 16
    Google must be desperate to pull this nonsense.  Apple at best has had perhaps 35% of the EU marketshare while Googie, via android has nearly double that (67%) as a quick trip to statcounter will show.  North America is about the only market where Apple and Google enjoy nearly equal marketshare.  Everywhere else Apple is a second.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 16
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,304member
    maximara said:
    Google must be desperate to pull this nonsense.  Apple at best has had perhaps 35% of the EU marketshare while Googie, via android has nearly double that (67%) as a quick trip to statcounter will show.  North America is about the only market where Apple and Google enjoy nearly equal marketshare.  Everywhere else Apple is a second.
    Add just Xiaomi's own forked version (not Google Android) accounting for 24% of the EU market to the not Android Apple devices then roughly half of the users in Europe are using an OS that is not Google Android. 

    But yeah when there's a few $Billion involved of course companies are going to look for reasons to lessen the blow. Google is using only one of the arguments for this particular objection. They have voiced others. 
  • Reply 12 of 16
    GG lying/deflecting as usual.

    Apple can’t be compared to Google for one huge reason - Apple doesn’t license iOS to OEMs. Because of this:

    - Apple can’t be accused of forcing OEMs to install their Apps over competitors Apps.
    - Apple can’t prevent OEMs from forking iOS.
    - Apple hasn’t paid “bribe” money to OEMs to favor their services over others.
    - Apple didn’t offer iOS for free with minimal restrictions to gain market share, then start exerting control after becoming dominant.

    All of the things Google has been accused of are impossible for Apple to do. Google is going to get a major smackdown for trying to deflect away by dragging Apple in this.
    thtwilliamlondonmaximara
  • Reply 13 of 16
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,130member
    If the complaint is about Google using Android to maintain its search dominance then surely including Apple in the competition doesn't really help Google, since they pay to be the default search provider there too?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 16
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,304member
    crowley said:
    If the complaint is about Google using Android to maintain its search dominance then surely including Apple in the competition doesn't really help Google, since they pay to be the default search provider there too?
    That's just one of a few different objections Google is using in it's appeal, but of course the only one reported because Apple was mentioned and that's always good for clicks.

    Some of the others include an argument its antifragmentation agreements are necessary to keep Android phones compatible with Play Store apps, and aren’t a barrier to creating wholly separate and competing OSes

    Google also says it is not true they block competing apps.  Different phone manufacturers often install Google-competing apps on Android smartphones, and owners can quite easily download others. 

    Google also says it is well within their rights, even a responsibility to stockholders to recoup the money it spends on continuing Android development which is provided free to manufacturers who wish to license it from them. Strong encouragement to install Google Search, from which the company makes the bulk of its revenue, is a business necessity to pay for the investment.

    As an aside Ms. Vestager has other current antitrust probes, plus some new ones being considered, exploring whether (IMO we're past that and into "how") fellow US techs Apple, Facebook and Amazon are abusing their dominance to buy out, block out, or stifle potential rivals. Each of the companies of course deny wrongdoing and will certainly cite each other (along with other various salient points) as proof of a vibrant competitive market that needs no regulation, much less a fine. 

    edited September 28
  • Reply 15 of 16
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,375member
    gatorguy said:
    maximara said:
    Google must be desperate to pull this nonsense.  Apple at best has had perhaps 35% of the EU marketshare while Googie, via android has nearly double that (67%) as a quick trip to statcounter will show.  North America is about the only market where Apple and Google enjoy nearly equal marketshare.  Everywhere else Apple is a second.
    Add just Xiaomi's own forked version (not Google Android) accounting for 24% of the EU market to the not Android Apple devices then roughly half of the users in Europe are using an OS that is not Google Android. 

    But yeah when there's a few $Billion involved of course companies are going to look for reasons to lessen the blow. Google is using only one of the arguments for this particular objection. They have voiced others. 
    You are confusing the Xiaomi's phones sold inside China, with the ones they sell outside of China. Xiaomi's international phones do come with "Google Android" and if not, the Google Play Store can be sideloaded.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIUI

    Google has had disagreements with the Chinese government, and access to many Google services is blocked. MIUI does not ship with Google Play Services in mainland China. However, Xiaomi has expanded its operations outside China; MIUI releases for Android devices outside mainland China have Google Play Services and Google Apps such as GmailGoogle MapsGoogle Play Store pre-installed and functioning as on any other Android device. MIUI global versions are certified by Google.[10]

    https://www.techbout.com/install-google-play-store-on-xiaomi-phones-20192/

    Recently, Xiaomi installed a custom ROM in the phones sold in China, so that they can not be made to run any Google Services, even if sideloaded or rooted. This did not affect their international phones.

    So we can add back their 24% marketshare in the EU as "Google Android" ...... yes?   

    williamlondonmaximarawatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 16
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,304member
    davidw said:
    gatorguy said:
    maximara said:
    Google must be desperate to pull this nonsense.  Apple at best has had perhaps 35% of the EU marketshare while Googie, via android has nearly double that (67%) as a quick trip to statcounter will show.  North America is about the only market where Apple and Google enjoy nearly equal marketshare.  Everywhere else Apple is a second.
    Add just Xiaomi's own forked version (not Google Android) accounting for 24% of the EU market to the not Android Apple devices then roughly half of the users in Europe are using an OS that is not Google Android. 

    But yeah when there's a few $Billion involved of course companies are going to look for reasons to lessen the blow. Google is using only one of the arguments for this particular objection. They have voiced others. 
    You are confusing the Xiaomi's phones sold inside China, with the ones they sell outside of China. Xiaomi's international phones do come with "Google Android" and if not, the Google Play Store can be sideloaded.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIUI

    Google has had disagreements with the Chinese government, and access to many Google services is blocked. MIUI does not ship with Google Play Services in mainland China. However, Xiaomi has expanded its operations outside China; MIUI releases for Android devices outside mainland China have Google Play Services and Google Apps such as GmailGoogle MapsGoogle Play Store pre-installed and functioning as on any other Android device. MIUI global versions are certified by Google.[10]

    https://www.techbout.com/install-google-play-store-on-xiaomi-phones-20192/

    Recently, Xiaomi installed a custom ROM in the phones sold in China, so that they can not be made to run any Google Services, even if sideloaded or rooted. This did not affect their international phones.

    So we can add back their 24% marketshare in the EU as "Google Android" ...... yes?   

    I had already mentioned Xiaomi and their forked OS had chosen to take a license from Google for the Play Store and Search. Key word "Chose". They could have used their own app store (or Amazon's or any other 3rd party store) and signed up with Microsoft to use their search services couldn't they? Their choice to go with Google Play and Search was not mandated, but instead apparently the best choice for them from a business standpoint and in consideration of the region they are selling in. They make other choices in other regions.

    So no IMO, while Xiaomi is using a flavor of Android, it is not Google Android which comes with different obligations (ie including many of the ones the EU is complaining about) than the open-source version they used for developing their own operating system.  

    BTW, yesterday was just day one of the five scheduled for the appeal. There will be more arguments and more than likely articles to come. 
    edited September 28
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