SAN FRANCISCO — Google responded to formal charges from the European Commission that the Internet giant abuses its market dominance with Android, saying the mobile operating software has encouraged, not stifled, competition.
"The rapid innovation, wide choice, and falling prices we see in smartphones represent the hallmarks of robust competition," Kent Walker, Google's senior vice president and general counsel, wrote in a blog post. "Android has unleashed a new generation of innovation and inter-platform competition. By any measure, it is the most open, flexible, and differentiated of the mobile computing platforms."
The Android case could be damaging for Google. Android has generated about $31 billion in revenue and $22 billion in profit for Google since its release in 2008, an Oracle lawyer told a U.S. court in January.
"As is standard practice, we will carefully consider Google's response before taking any decision on how to proceed and cannot at this stage prejudge the final outcome of the investigation," the commission said in an emailed statement.
Android powers more than 80% of the world's smartphones and is even more dominant in Europe with a 90% share, according to the European Commission. The EU has accused Google of abusing its market dominance by forcing handset manufacturers to favor Google's search engine and Web browser on mobile devices. With Google apps pre-loaded on devices, Internet users are more likely to continue to see the Google ads that they once viewed on their desktops.