New Complaint against Google's Anti-competitive Behaviour in the Innovative Android App Store Market

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Brussels – (16 June 2014) – Google's abusive practices are threatening competition in a new digital service sector, Android App Stores, according to a complaint filed Monday, 16 June with the European Commission by Aptoide, a Lisbon-based start-up and independent Apps Store for Android smartphones.

The complaint contends that Google is leveraging its dominance in the Android operating systems for mobile phones to control the App Stores market. The App Market is worth an estimated annual USD 23 billion (ABI Research).

The diversity of applications available in App Stores plays a key role in the popularity and growth of smart phones, but it is the innovation and creativity in apps that is also pushing the limits of the mobile sector and driving mobile use into every dimension of human activity.  

"Aptoide is the world's largest independent App Store for Android phones, but we are struggling to grow, even to survive, in the face of Google systematically setting up obstacles for users to install third-party App Stores in the Android platform and blocking competition in their Google Play store," said Paulo Trezentos,  co-founder and Aptoide CEO. 

The complaint alleges illegal bundling as Google couples its API Services with Google Play which is the dominant Android App Store. APIs ('application programming interfaces') determine how software components interact with each other. For no reason Google regularly suspends Aptoide from appearing on Google Play thereby depriving the start-up of accessing consumers and vice versa.

"We are only asking the Commission to restore fair competition in the market, so we can compete on our own merits", stressed Álvaro Pinto, co-founder and Aptoide COO. 

These allegations come on top of other complaints filed against Google regarding its anti-competitive behaviour in mobile.  Google holds a dominant position in the market for licensed smartphones using the Android operating system holding 84% of the market in 2012, according to an analysis calculated on Gartner data on worldwide smartphone sales (thousands of units) from Q4 2011 – Q3 2012.

For additional information or an interview, please contact:

        At Aptoide:

o        Paulo Trezentos, CEO:  paulo.trezentos@aptoide.com 

                                 phone: +351 966171047

o        Álvaro Pinto, COO: alvaro.pinto@aptoide.com

    Phone: +351 918145422

        At Burson-Marsteller Brussels:

o        Anna Tobur, anna.tobur@bm.com / +32 2 743 6610

 

To the Editor/About Aptoide:

Based on the number of different Android apps, Aptoide is the largest Independent App Store or Marketplace.  It distributes over 200,000 different Apps by way of a network of over 112,000 independent stores; it currently has reached nearly one billion downloads.  Aptoide started in 2009 as a project to develop an open Marketplace to the Android Platform, receiving funding from the EU's   FP7 framework programme for research and development. In 2011 Android was incorporated as a spin-off of the open-source company CM Software.