EU competition chief set to charge Google with Android abuse

“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.

SEE ALSO:
The Android bubble bursts as Europeans flock to Apple’s iPhone – September 2, 2015
Android loss continues in Europe as 27% of smartphone users dump Android for Apple iPhone – September 2, 2015
Android fanboy actually uses an iPhone for 2 months, dumps Android phone – August 11, 2015
Apple iPhone sees highest switching rate from Android ever recorded – August 10, 2015
Nomura ups Apple to ‘Buy’ on strong iPhone growth, increasing Android switchers – July 31, 2015
Significant Android to iPhone switching weakens market for Samsung Galaxy S6 – March 24, 2015
Analyst: Android switchers fueling iPhone growth; Android users even more interested in Apple Watch than iOS users – March 23, 2015
Over 85% of new iPhone sales are switchers, mostly from Android – January 30, 2015
Google’s Android: The Fisher Price of smartphones, training wheels for Apple’s iPhone – May 2, 2014

15 Comments

  1. I have (sadly) a lot of friends who actually prefer Android. One phone (I forget which), has the sleep/wake button on the back- it’s a brilliant idea (I hate the location of the sleep button on my 6- I’m always turning the phone off when I take a picture with the + volume button in landscape mode- the sleep button is just in the wrong place). They like the big clock they can put on the home screen and that they can move icons of apps around to have empty spaces anywhere they want. I feel VERY sorry for them, but some of Android’s features would be nice to have on my iPhone…

    1. The button on the back is not brilliant.
      It is awkward to hit. If you have the phone on a car holder, you can’t hit the button.
      I have a nexus 6p, so I know.

  2. The EU is just going to fish for money wherever they can find it. I’m surprised the UK isn’t billing every American for back taxes and the cost of the Revolutionary War.

    “Government” once meant something other than confiscating wealth.

      1. As much as I disliked Microsoft, I thought the EU antitrust action over Windows Explorer was very wrong. It was their operating system (lifted from our favorite fruit company – but that’s another story) and their platform. They had a right to do whatever they wanted regarding Explorer.

        1. One of the key differences between IE and Google Apps is that IE was such an integral part of Windows that removing it would have rendered a good portion of the Windows OS and UI inoperable (e.g. Windows Explorer and the desktop use a nice chunk of IE libraries). Removing Google Apps from Android doesn’t have the same effect.

          1. EU competition chief set to charge Google with Android abuse

            As much as I disliked Microsoft, I thought the EU antitrust action over Windows Explorer was very wrong. It was their operating system (lifted from our favorite fruit company – but that’s another story) and their platform. They had a right to do whatever they wanted regarding Explorer.

            I remember that whole charade Microsoft pulled. They purposely integrated Explorer code into the Windows operation system to make the specific argument to the EU commission that they could not remove Explorer from PCs and substitute Netscape Navigator or any third party web browser. It was bullshit of course since it really wasn’t necessary to intermingle the code. Bill Gates at his best/worst.

            1. In hindsight it would appear that it was unnecessary for integrating IE so deeply into the OS. I think MS wanted to minimize the OS + browser footprint by sharing as much of the DLL libraries between them. I suppose MS at the time could have done something similar to iOS did at one time and require every other browser maker to use the same backside browser engine/libraries.

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