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Android has created more choice, not less

Date: 07/20/2018

The European Commission sent us yesterday a formal decision related to our Android operating system. We disagree with this decision and think it fails to understand the competitive dynamics of the mobile Internet economy. Consumers today benefit from better phones and a range of prices thanks to Android – as Sundar Pichai, our CEO explains it on our blog.

Android is open-source software, which means anyone can use it and modify it however they want. Android provides unlimited choice for thousands of hardware manufacturers and mobile network operators and millions of consumers, too. Android has enabled new opportunities for millions of application developers who have built new businesses using Android, including more than 1.6 million developers in Europe.

Because of Android, there’s a choice of 24,000 devices, at every price point, from more than 1,300 different brands, including Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Latvian, Polish, Romanian, Spanish and Swedish phone makers.

Competition is thriving on mobile devices and choice is unrestricted. Hardware manufacturers and carriers who put Google applications like Search and Chrome on their devices can offer competing services, too. And consumers can download alternative applications with ease. The average consumer downloads roughly 50 apps, in addition to the 40 or so that come preinstalled on a typical Android phone. The European Commission and the EU General Court have acknowledged how easily consumers can download alternative services in previous decisions, but not in this case.

We’ve always said that with size comes responsibility, and that we’re open to scrutiny. A healthy, thriving Android ecosystem is in everyone’s interest, and we’ve shown we’re willing to make changes. But we are concerned that the Commission’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. Rapid innovation, wide choice, and falling prices are classic hallmarks of robust competition and Android has enabled all of them. Yesterday, the Commission applauded Android while rejecting the business model that supports it. We believe that the decision will lead to less choice, not more, and we intend to appeal. #AndroidWorks

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