Google says European court payments to phone makers gave Android a chance against Apple

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A sign is pictured outside a Google office near the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, the United States, May 8, 2019. REUTERS / Paresh Dave

  • Google says payments are just a promotional opportunity
  • EU says they are the pinnacle of illegal nesting practices
  • European Court ruling likely next year

LUXEMBOURG, September 29 (Reuters) – Payments to phone makers to pre-install only Google search on their devices were not intended to prevent competition but were necessary for Android to grab Apple’s market share ( AAPL.O), Alphabet (GOOGL.O) Google said Wednesday at the second highest court in Europe.

Google addressed the court on the third day of a week-long hearing as it tried to get judges to overturn a record 4.3 billion euros ($ 3.7 billion) fine for antitrust of the EU and an order from the European Commission to loosen its grip on search engines. Android devices.

The EU’s competition watchdog had challenged two types of deals with phone makers, one being payments for pre-installing Google search only on their devices, known as of revenue sharing agreements (RSA), because they excluded their competitors.

It wasn’t and the payments were just meant to encourage phone makers, which were already making money from other apps, to give Android a place, Google’s lawyer told the court, Assimakis Komninos.

“Google was to offer a compensatory revenue stream. An incentive to convince them to open up and adopt the Android platform. At the same time, RSAs have also helped them keep prices low and compete better with Apple.” , did he declare.

“And of course, Google was getting a promotional opportunity in return, a one-time pre-install, which allowed it to invest in a free operating system (operating system), a free app store, and so on.

On top of that, RSA only covered 5% of the market, Komninos said.

Commission counsel Nicholas Khan denied the request.

“What worried them was that the competition was gaining ground,” he said, and RDAs were “the pinnacle of Google’s nesting practices”.

A verdict is expected to fall next year. The case is T-604/18 Google v European Commission

($ 1 = 1.1714 euros)

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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