“The European competition commission is gearing up to charge Google with giving unfair prominence to its own apps like search and maps in supplementary software licensing deals it strikes with mobile phone makers running its Android operating system, four sources familiar with the process said on Monday,” Foo Yun Chee and Eric Auchard report for Reuters. “If the EU were to find Google guilty of market abuse it could lead to a fine of up to $7.4 billion or 10 percent of 2015 revenue, while forcing it to change its business practices.”

“EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said on Monday her agency’s probe centers on the use of exclusive contracts which enable phone firms to run Google’s own apps and not necessarily on demands they bundle in a complete set of Google apps such as Search, Maps and Gmail and its Google Play app store on phones,” Chee and Auchard report. “For while Android is open source software that gives device makers the freedom to build and run their own software, the vast majority of European phones run a standard package of software and Google apps that must be licensed from Google, according to data from Strategy Analytics, a technology market research firm.”

“A year ago the EU charged Google with favoring its own shopping service in Internet searches, adding at that time it was also investigating whether the advertising giant was abusing its control over Android. A decision on the shopping service case could come later in 2016,” Chee and Auchard report. “Google requires phone vendors to sign confidential contracts. A handful of those contracts which have leaked into the public realm do not explicitly force phone makers to pre-load certain Google apps, but they do, effectively, require it in order for phone makers to install the Google Play app store.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Google, Alphabet, whatever should be brought up on charges for abusing anyone who’s ever had to try to use Android, their iPhone wannabe that’ll never be.

After all, which iPhone rival roped in the most suckers? The one that looked the most like an iPhone, of course.

If it’s not an iPhone, it’s not an iPhone.

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