Google's CEO says the EU's record $5 billion antitrust ruling could 'upset the balance' of Android and be a huge win for Apple


Sundar Pichai has suggested that the EU’s record $US5 billion fine against Google will be bad for Android users.

In a blog post, published soon after the EU punished Google for abusing the dominance of Android, Pichai laid out the reasons why the company will be appealing the decision.

He said the decision made by Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission’s competition commissioner, risks upending the Android model.

The Commission focused on three specific Google trade practices, which it found to be illegal. These were:

  • Google requiring manufacturers to pre-install its browser and search apps in order to access Google’s app store, Google Play.
  • Google paying manufacturers to exclusively pre-install its search app.
  • And finally, Google stopping manufacturers from running alternative versions of Android.

Pichai explained that without rules and standards, open source platforms “fragment,” which he said “hurts users, developers, and phone makers.”

He added: “If phone makers and mobile network operators couldn’t include our apps on their wide range of devices, it would upset the balance of the Android ecosystem.”

The Google CEO said the EU’s decision ignores the fact that Android has to compete with Apple, and the choice the mobile operating system offers billions of consumers around the world.

“A healthy, thriving Android ecosystem is in everyone’s interest, and we’ve shown we’re willing to make changes,” he added. “But we are concerned that today’s decision will upset the careful balance that we have struck with Android, and that it sends a troubling signal in favour of proprietary systems over open platforms.”

The Commission has given Google 90 days it remedy what it deems to be illegal practices, or it could face penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily revenue of its parent company, Alphabet. “We intend to appeal,” Pichai said.

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