The domestic internet company Seznam increased its claim for damages against the American competitor Google by one billion to ten billion CZK. According to the List, Google is abusing its dominant position in the market for licensed operating systems for smart mobile devices and applications for the Android platform. The claim for damages will be part of the lawsuit against Google, which is being prepared by Seznam.
Last December, in a pre-litigation summons, the list demanded compensation from Google for 9.07 billion crowns. It was supposed to be created due to the impossibility of extending his applications to Android devices. This was prevented by Google’s business agreements with Android mobile device manufacturers.
“Developments in 2020 show that the corrective regulations, in their current form, do not have the impact on a market settlement that all market players had hoped for in 2019. It is therefore clear that Google’s behavior in recent years will be much greater and “We, therefore, intend to increase the original claim for damages to more than ten billion crowns in the planned lawsuit against Alphabet / Google,” said Zima.
According to Houzarová, Android provides phone manufacturers and users with an unprecedented choice when deciding which applications people will install on their devices, which they will use, and which they will set as default. “At the same time, the Android operating system allows millions of application developers around the world, including List, to successfully grow their businesses,” she added.
As early as 2018, the European Commission ruled that Google was violating EU competition rules by its conduct. The company then came up with the Choice screen program, which was supposed to allow users to choose the applications to install on their device and modified the contracts with the device manufacturers. According to the List, however, Google did not stop abusing its dominant position. “Even though the Seznam.cz Search service grew by a total of six percent year-on-year and so far recorded approximately 140,000 selections in the Choice screen program. Formally introduced modifications did not open the market enough, services operating in the EU, “added Winter.
According to Seznam, it is correct that the auction system was abolished because it could not be accepted for a dominant player to demand payments from its competitors for being able to compete openly with it in the search engine market. Unfortunately, according to Zima, the new proposal of the Choice screen program also contains shortcomings, for example, it uses an inaccurate data source to verify the size of participants’ market shares and does not address the issue of choosing a default Internet browser. In addition, all current adjustments will be reflected in new Android devices launched in September 2021. Almost 80 percent of existing domestic users of Android mobile devices have not yet been given any choice of search technology, he added.