6 March 2017 (Berlin) – Hausfeld has submitted a formal competition complaint to the European Commission on behalf of the Open Internet Project (OIP), alleging Google abused its market power over mobile apps and services creating unsurmountable market barriers and stifling innovation.
Google has established a contractual framework around its mobile operating system Android which makes it practically impossible for manufacturers of smartphones and tablets to produce and market Google-free devices. The competition complaint alleges that Google has abused its overwhelming market dominance in several mobile related markets by forcing manufacturers to pre-install and pre-set Google’s own apps and services and by preventing them from producing smart phones and tablets running on forked Android versions. The OIP holds that thereby Google creates significant barriers to entry for competing app developers and search services harming consumers who do not have access to the most innovative mobile solutions and have to pay more for their smartphones and tablets.
The OIP is an association currently bringing together more than 400 European undertakings and associations active in online commerce and/or the digital economy. OIP's membership basis was further broadened when in March 2017 all members of the Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace (ICOMP) joined the OIP. Hausfeld’s lawyers, among others, have been representing the OIP for several years regarding the European Commission’s investigation into Google’s anti-competitive behaviour concerning Google Search. OIP is a formal complainant in this proceeding.
The European Commission opened proceedings in relation to Google’s mobile operating system and Google’s mobile applications in April 2015. In April 2016, the European Commission issued a formal statement of objections making a preliminary finding that Google had abused its market power.
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