The End of the App Economy Golden Age

Android case’s decision will cause market fragmentation, reduced competition and higher costs for developers and consumers

18 July 2018

Contact: Michela Palladino - michela@developersalliance.org

Brussels – The Developers Alliance is disappointed at the European Commission’s decision in its Android investigation. Today’s decision will inevitably lead to changes to Android’s free, open source model which, in time, will harm the Android ecosystem, rather than help it grow.

We have been warning the European Commission about the potential negative impact on the developers’ community of such decision. The remedies imposed by the Commission risk undermining the growth of the EU digital economy” - said Bruce Gustafson, President and CEO of the Developers Alliance – “The openness of Android has strongly benefitted developers and consumers over the years. Thanks to market stability and reduced costs, developers have been able to focus on bringing new and innovative products to consumers. This golden age for software innovation and consumer choice might be coming to an end.”

The app ecosystem is incredibly vibrant, competitive and innovative. Currently there are over 5 million applications available on the Apple App Store and Google Play[1]. And those numbers are growing by several thousand every month. App developers are creating, coding and inventing new services, features and tools for more than 2 billion users globally. The European app economy represents one third of the global market[2], supports over 2 million jobs[3] and contributes substantially to national GDPs.

Squandering such a significant growth potential is irresponsible.

We believe that the European Commission’s decision will fragment Android and undermine cross-device consistency. This will be devastating for small businesses, that will be forced to develop different versions of their applications for each of the thousands of Android devices.

The costs of developing will dramatically rise and translate into less innovation and higher costs for consumers.

Today is a bad day for developers and consumers” - concludes Bruce Gustafson - “The European Commission has one last chance to tailor the implementation of this ruling in a way that doesn’t undo a decade of progress for Europeans. We hope they’ll step up to that opportunity."

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The Developers Alliance is the world’s leading advocate for software developers and the companies invested in their success. Alliance members include industry leaders in consumer, enterprise, industrial, and emerging software development, and a global network of more than 70,000 developers.

[1] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2018/621894/EPRS_BRI(2018)621894_EN.pdf

[2] https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/sizing-eu-app-economy

[3] http://www.progressivepolicy.org/blog/update-on-european-app-economy-jobs/