The Android Effect
In July 2018 following a 39-month investigation, the European Commission announced its decision in the Android case, imposing a record fine of €4.34bn and requiring Google to cease its infringing practices. The Commission faulted Google for imposing illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators, designed to cement Google’s dominance in general internet search. The abuses ran from 2011, and Google must now “cease and desist” within three months. €4.34bn represents just over two weeks of revenue for Google, and its stock price was not impacted. The greater impact should in theory flow from changes in the marketplace once Google ceases the foreclosing conduct that has fuelled its biggest growth engine: mobile phones. In this Competition Law Insight article, attorneys Alec Burnside and Maria Loudjeva answer the question whether it is too late for a flowering of the rival operating systems and competing search engines that Google has foreclosed: has the market tipped beyond retrieval?
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