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Android competition case - Technology Ireland

Technology Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the sector, says that the Android competition case could lead to less European innovation, less competition and higher prices.

Responding to the latest developments regarding competition on the android mobile operating system, Una Fitzpatrick, Director of Technology Ireland said: “Consumer choice, fostering innovation and nurturing competition are cornerstones of a successful economy. It is right to ensure that these principles are upheld. Android gives people access to mobile technology that was previously out of reach. Globally high-quality Android devices are available at affordable price points for consumers.

“Android led to lowering barriers to entry for phone makers, operators and developers, leading to a wider choice of better phones, with better apps, at better prices for consumers. The rapid innovation, wide choice, and falling prices you see in smartphones today are the hallmarks of robust competition.

“In developing frameworks and policy positions at the European level to protect competition principles, it is crucial that the full consumer and business landscape is analysed. The Android model has also enabled 1.6 million apps developers based in Europe to offer their products and services to a global audience, via the 2 billion compatible Android devices currently in use. But open-source ecosystems are fragile. They survive and grow by balancing the needs of all participants, including consumers and developers. The European Commission’s case could upset this balance, and send an unintended signal favouring closed, vertically-integrated platforms.

‘’The concern for Technology Ireland is that this would mean less innovation, less choice, less competition, and higher prices. That wouldn’t be just a bad outcome for Google. It would be a bad outcome for developers, including many Technology Ireland members, who would face increased fragmentation, barriers to reach consumers, and lost scale; for phone makers and carriers, who would see increased costs; and, most critically, for consumers, who would see less competition, less innovation and higher prices.’’

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