Recently, Google is defending the relevant lawsuits in 2018 with EU regulators in court, requesting the European Sub-High Court to revoke 4.34 billion euros (approximately $5.1 billion) fines related to the Android mobile operating system. The hearing lasted for 5 days. The representative of Google told a panel of five judges at the General Court that Android not only did not hinder competitors and harm users but also promoted market competition.
According to Reuters, Google questioned that EU regulators completely ignored the existence of Apple, which is Google’s biggest competitor of the Android operating system. However, the EU turned a blind eye to Apple in this lawsuit. Google believes that the European Commission’s definition of the market is too narrow, which plays down the strong binding force imposed by Apple. It is mistaken that Google has occupied an absolutely dominant position in mobile operating systems and application stores, but in fact, Google is just a strong market challenger.
The EU representative retorted that compared to Google’s market share, Apple’s weight is too small and not so important, believing that the agreement signed between Google and equipment manufacturers deprives any opportunity for competition. It even pays specific large-scale Android device manufacturers and mobile operators to request exclusive pre-installation of apps such as Google search.
The lawsuit originated in July 2018, when the European Commission announced a fine on Google and said that since 2011, Google has been using the Android mobile operating system to suppress competitors in order to consolidate Google’s dominant position in the Internet search field. Margrethe Vestager, the head of the EU regulator, said that no matter what the court verdict, Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook will have to change their business models in the next few years to ensure that competitors enjoy a level playing field.