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Epic’s economist just tried to shoot down the “Google competes with Apple” argument.

By positioning the whole web of relationships as a simple matter of buyers (Android app users, Android developers, OEMs) and sellers (Google), Bernheim says Apple isn’t a factor, because Apple doesn’t directly participate in those particular markets — and would still be positioned to take advantage of those buyers even if other markets exist.

“Is there anything wrong with saying... that’s one big market that competes with Apple?” asks Epic’s lead attorney.

“There would be quite a bit wrong with that,” says Bernheim.

“We’re looking to see whether there are pockets of transactions where sellers can take advantage of buyers,” he says, saying it’s part of a framework antitrust economists use to do competition analysis — and there’s a general consensus you do it that way.

I expect Google’s economist will say there’s no such consensus.