Google Android Antitrust: Dominance Pivots and a Business Model Clash in Brussels

By Randal Picker – 

The European Commission’s recent action against Google regarding the licensing terms for Android appears to undervalue results of the business model competition that has taken place in smartphone operating systems. Apple, Microsoft, and Google entered the smartphone market with different approaches: Apple vertically integrated software and hardware; Google went two-sided; and Microsoft offered fee licenses. Two of those approaches have succeeded and one has failed, but the great irony of the situation is that now that consumers have spoken, the EC seems to be pushing Google to undertake a dominance pivot and to switch to a business model that consumers rejected.

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