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Monday, October 25, 2021

In the EU, Google defends Android phone maker deals, denies carrot and stick tactics

LUXEMBOURG – Alphabetical unit Google said on Tuesday that a deal with Android phone makers had increased it to a record 4.3-billion-euro ($ 5 billion) no-confidence fine and rejected EU allegations they were a carrot and stick strategy that suppressed rivals.

Google was addressing the second day of the week-long hearing as it sought to overturn a fine in Europe’s second-highest court and an order from the European Commission to reduce its search engine visibility on Android devices.

Google and the EU’s competition executives have clashed over the company’s mobile application distribution agreement (MADA), which requires phone makers (EEMs) to pre-install the Google search app and Chrome browser app in exchange for a free Google Play license.

Google lawyer Alfonso Lamadrid told the General Court: “It is this licensing model that has attracted OEMs to the Android platform and enabled those OEMs to provide consistent and high quality user experience at minimal cost.”

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“People use Google because they choose, because they’re not bound,” he said.

Commission lawyer Carlos Uraka Cavides rejected the argument, calling the deal and other restrictions Google’s carrot-and-stick policy towards phone makers.

“It helped Google ensure that its competitors would not gain critical mass for challenging its dominance,” he told the court.

He added that such an agreement is unnecessary considering the market capability of Google, the world’s most popular internet search engine, and its significant number of users.

Uraka Cavides said what Google has done “goes beyond what is needed to develop and maintain the Android platform.”

A verdict could come next year. The case is T-604/18 Google vs. European Commission.

By Fu Yun Chi

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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