Government and Institutions

EU charges against Google undermine Europe’s digital economy


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Charges against Google not properly justified

Commenting on the European Commission’s Statement of Objections against Google Android, Diego Zuluaga, Financial Services Fellow and Head of Research, Epicenter at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: 

“The Commission’s charges would be justified if Android were a monopolist and its contractual arrangements with manufacturers were preventing users from accessing competing apps. But this is plainly not the case. Manufacturers can choose how tightly they wish to integrate their devices with Google’s software. Indeed, there are examples of firms in Russia, France, China and Finland – among others – running Android on their phones without Google apps.

“The Statement of Objections would be less concerning if we knew it wouldn’t have major consequences for future competition in the digital sphere. But by casting doubt on the legality of Google’s arrangements with manufacturers, the Commission may well chill innovation and harm end users, who are really the people competition authorities should care about. More and more competition in the digital economy is taking place between ecosystems such as Apple’s iOS, Amazon and Android, which vie to create environments that will attract manufacturers, advertisers, app developers and end users. Statutory intervention threatens the ability of ecosystems to innovate in this way. All in all, this is a mistaken move and bad news for the Digital Single Market.”

Notes to editors:

For media enquiries please contact Nerissa Chesterfield, Communications Officer: [email protected] or 020 7799 8920 or 07791 390268

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

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