Digital Market Act designations: the interoperability of Google Android - The European Commission has taken an intelligent
8 November 2023
An OEM that does this but also tries to offer a rival app store runs into the web of contracts requiring the default to be the Google Play Store and the rival store be placed on a later page, while the rival’s performance is degraded relative to that of the Google Play Store, and Google incentivises developers to not use the rival. [...] The relevant finding is stated clearly in the summary of the decision 4 : “With respect to Alphabet’s operating system Google Android, the Commission designates Google Android and Alphabet’s related middleware (and in particular Google Play Services – not to be confused with the app store Google Play) as a single CPS insofar it contributes to controlling the basic functions of Google Android table. [...] The Commission’s designation is a step forward in the enforcement of the DMA because once a definition of the CPS is based on functionality, it is robust to technological change as the OS evolves. [...] To appreciate the significance of the change in the Android environment, consider how the entry into the market in 2014 of the Amazon Fire smartphone would likely have played out under this definition of the Google Android CPS, combined with DMA rules 6. [...] Digital Market Act designations: the interoperability of Google Android 5 Bruegel analysis 34/2023 / 08 November 2023 The inclusion of Google Play Services in the CPS in Europe is critical to freeing OEMs from the bonds of the previous contracts.