Official Statement on Android Decision (18.12.2019)

On 09.02.2017, Turkish Competition Board (Board) initiated an investigation to determine whether the economic entity composed of Google Inc, Google International LLC and Google Reklamcılık ve Pazarlama Ltd. Şti. (Google) has abused its dominance via the restrictions it imposed on mobile device manufacturers while licensing its Android Operating System.

In this scope, basically, the investigation focused on whether Google has leveraged the monopoly-level market power it had in mobile operating systems market to maintain or strengthen its dominance in other markets, especially the general internet search services market.

As a result of the investigation, it was found that by using the licensing conditions imposed on mobile device manufacturers, Google made it significantly harder for its rivals to get pre-installed on mobile devices and also has provided financial incentives to manufacturers in return of being the sole internet search services provider in selected devices.

In this framework, Google was given an administrative fine according to the Act no 4054 on the Protection of Competition (the Act). Moreover, Google was given a time period of six months to stop the practices and ensure compliance with the decision. The said period expired on 06.08.2019 and on the same date, Google submitted its proposed compliance packet. Evaluating the amendments made by Google to its licencing agreements, the Board decided that the steps taken would not be sufficient to effectively terminate the infringements and as a result started to impose periodic (daily) fine on Google as of 07.11.2019.

Google’s similar practices were also investigated in the European Union and the Russian Federation.  In 2017, Google reached a voluntary settlement with Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service and agreed commitments to terminate certain practices violating competition rules. On July 18, 2018, the European Commission issued its decision, fined Google €4.34 billion for abusing its dominant position and in March 2019 Google announced that it will take final necessary measures to fully comply with the EU Commission’s decision.

At this point, Google is expected to obey the rule of law and comply fully with the infringement decision of Turkish Competition Authority as it did previously in other countries on similar concerns.

Respectfully submitted for the information of the public.