Google's Android mobile operating system enhances competition rather than hurts it, the company's general counsel said on Thursday, responding to EU antitrust charges that it uses the platform to crush rivals. Last April, the European Commission issued a Statement of Objections raising concerns over how Google manages Android compatibility and distribute its own apps. According to the response Google filed today, the Android ecosystem "carefully balances the interests of users, developers, hardware makers, and mobile network operators."
Android hasn’t hurt competition, it’s expanded it," said Google general counsel Kent Walker.
Walker said the Commission has got the whole case wrong, ignoring both the fierce rivalry with iPhone maker Apple, the demands from apps developers and the dangers of modified versions of Android.
"The response we filed today shows how the Android ecosystem carefully balances the interests of users, developers, hardware makers, and mobile network operators. Android hasn’t hurt competition, it's expanded it," he said.
The case is distorted because the EU competition enforcer does not see Apple's iOS as a rival to Android, he said.
"To ignore competition with Apple is to miss the defining feature of today's competitive smartphone landscape," Walker said.
The company also dismissed the regulator's concern about the bundling of some of its apps and products, saying that this allows it to offer the package for free instead of charging upfront licensing fees.
Google faces fines of $7.4 billion, or 10 percent of its global turnover, if found guilty of breaching EU rules.