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EU ‘ignored Apple’, Google lawyers claim
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27 Sep 2021 / eu Print

EU ‘ignored Apple’, Google lawyers claim

Google’s parent company Alphabet has criticised EU competition regulators for ignoring rival Apple, according to a Reuters report.

The search giant was launching its bid to get Europe's second-highest court to annul a record €4.34 billion fine related to its Android operating system.

The European Commission issued the fine in 2018, saying that Google had used Android since 2011 to thwart rivals, and cement its dominance in internet search.

Google representatives, however, told a panel of five judges at the General Court in Luxembourg that Android had been a massive success story of competition at work.

Apple’s role

"The commission shut its eyes to the real competitive dynamic in this industry: that between Apple and Android," the news agency quoted Google's lawyer Meredith Pickford as telling the court.

"By defining markets too narrowly, and downplaying the potent 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 disrupter," he said.

Commission lawyer Nicholas Khan dismissed Apple's role, because of its small market share compared with Android.

"Bringing Apple into the picture doesn't change things very much. Google and Apple pursue different models," he told the court.

Fines of €8 billion

"Google's conduct denied any opportunity for competition," Khan said, citing agreements that forced phone manufacturers to pre-install Google Search, the Chrome browser and the Google Play app store on their Android devices, and payments to pre-install only Google Search.

The Android operating system is found on about 80% of the world's smartphones.

Over the past decade, the EU has imposed competition fines of more than €8 billion on Google.

The hearing in Luxembourg is due to last for five days.

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