Android – Open or Shut Case?


Listen on Apple Podcasts badge

Other Podcast apps

Buy Transcript

On 18 July this year Margrethe Vestager, Europe’s competition czar, announced a record €4.3 billion fine against Google in relation to various practices concerning Android, the search giant’s popular mobile operating system.

It comes just over a year after the European Commission’s €2.4 billion fine in the so-called Google Shopping case, discussed with Professor Pinar Akman on episode 7 of Competition Lore.

The Android case relates to complex contractual agreements that Google requires phonemakers to sign if they want to access the company’s popular digital services, in particular the ‘must have’ Google Play Store.

The decision sparked a barrage of commentary, for and against, not least in the latter camp from the Google CEO who argues that the Android story is one of “more competition not less” in the mobile eco-system and to the benefit of now more than 2 billion Android phone users.

In this episode of Competition Lore you’ll hear from Professor Nicolas Petit and Professor Simonetta Vezzoso, two of the many commentators who are dissecting the decision and who have very different views on whether the European Commission got it right. You’ll also hear from Margrethe Vestager, the European Competition Commissioner, and from Sundar Pichai, the Google CEO!

Full reasons for the decision are yet to be released. In the meantime, you can read the press release here and watch the announcement by Margrethe Vestager at the press conference here.

You can follow developments in Nicolas’s and Simonetta’s thinking about the case and other aspects of competition and big tech on Twitter or their blogs and you might also be interested in some of their longer form writing:



EU engaged in antitrust gerrymandering against Google, 2018

‘Big is bad’ narrative is simply untrue in high-tech sector, 2018 (with Richard Sousa)

The Misguided Assault on the Consumer Welfare Standard in the Age of Platform Markets, 2018

Technology Giants, the Moligopoly Hypothezis and Holistic Competition: A Primer, 2016



Android and Forking Restrictions: On the HiddeClosedness of “Open”, 2018

Fintech, Access to Data, and the Role of Competition Policy, 2018

Competition by design, 2017

Online Platforms, Rate Parity, and the Free Riding Defence, 2016

Featuring regular cut-through interviews with leading thinkers, movers and shakers, Competition Lore is a podcast series that engages us all in a debate about the transformative potential and risks of digitalised competition.

Join Caron Beaton-Wells, Professor in Competition Law at the University of Melbourne, to tackle what it means to participate as a competitor, consumer or citizen in a digital economy and society.

Competition Lore is produced by Written & Recorded

Competition Lore