“Google Inc. says its Android mobile operating system is ‘open,'” Rolfe Winkler reports for The Wall Street Journal. “But newly discovered documents reveal the strings attached.”

“The documents show that Google has imposed strict restrictions on device makers that want access to its search engine, YouTube or the more than one million apps in its Play Store,” Winkler reports. “In return, the device makers must feature other Google apps and set Google search as the default for users, according to the agreements. European antitrust authorities are examining those conditions, among others, as they consider whether Google has abused Android’s position as the leading smartphone operating system. In Europe, companies with dominant market share are required to promote competition, said Ioannis Lianos, a professor at University College London who studies competition law.”

“There is no such requirement in the U.S., and experts said it would be difficult to show that Google’s Android stance has violated antitrust rules. But it conflicts with Google’s rhetoric,” Winkler reports. “‘One of the greatest benefits of Android is that it fosters competition at every level of the mobile market—including among application developers,’ Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt wrote to then-U.S. Senator Herb Kohl in 2011.”

“Google also exercises control over device makers through the Open Handset Alliance, which counts 84 members, according to its website,” Winkler reports. “The European Commission last year began studying whether Google’s Android distribution practices run afoul of antitrust rules. The commission’s top antitrust cop, Joaquín Almunia, said last week that it will shift its focus to Android now that it has reached a settlement with Google over its search practices.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Fragmandroid is certainly open for malware:

(U//FOUO) Threats to Mobile Devices Using the Android Operating System - U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice

(U//FOUO) Threats to Mobile Devices Using the Android Operating System – U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Scott M.” for the heads up.]

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