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The European Commission May Open A Formal Investigation On Android Tomorrow

April 14, 2015 - Written By Justin Diaz

Google’s issues with the EU have led to a case over antitrust violations around five years ago, but had been stalled multiple times without resolution. A few weeks ago it was reported that the European Union would be looking to re-open investigations over the initial antitrust violations, and earlier this afternoon a leaked internal memo from Google highlighted their response to the EU over the EU’s arguments. While the case is originally over antitrust violations regarding unfair competition in search rankings for the shopping and travel industries, Google also mentions in the memo that they believe the European Commission will also open up a formal investigation into Android tomorrow alongside their statement of objections.

Unlike the statement of objections reportedly being announced tomorrow, which is a case that is already being set in motion, Google states that a formal investigation into Android may not end up leading to a case like with the claims of antitrust violations over search. Nevertheless, Google has prepared for this scenario in the event that the European Commission takes action against them over Android as well. If the EC does decide to follow through with a case on the Android operating system, it will likely be with the argument that Google uses their position to dominate the adoption of their own apps, like search, on devices as opposed to those from other companies, although nothing has been formally stated about what the EC’s arguments could be at this time as no investigation has been opened.

Google states that they have a strong case with Android, highlighting that they have “paid out over $7 billion in revenue in the past year to developers and content publishers.” They also mention that Android has increased choice for consumers while also lowering cost of devices. Google’s arguments for Android will draw attention to the fact that they believe customers have more choice when it comes to devices and applications than they ever have, and that they are exercising that right to choice, while pointing out that many other companies also have successful mobile businesses, citing Apple as an example.