EU files antitrust charges against Google
The European Union has formally charged Google for unfair business practices involving the Android mobile OS. The EU has determined Google has used its market position to stifle competition, breaching EU law.
EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Google has abused its dominant position to create an unfair advantage by imposing unjustified restrictions and conditions on Android device manufacturers. The EC outlined its allegations of antitrust violations in a statement of objections, which was issued to Google.
These include Google prioritising its own services so manufacturers are requiring to pre-install Google Search and Google’s Chrome browser and requiring them to set Google Search as the default service on their devices.
451 Research manager Boris Metodiev commented: “This is not Google’s first brush with regulators, and as with previous antitrust cases, the search giant will certainly try to fight the charges. Google already dropped some of the less-popular preloaded apps of Android looking to appease regulators, but if the company is forced to let the smartphone makers decide what apps get preloaded on the devices, the implications can be huge.
Although Google’s services are often superior to offerings by competitors (Search, Maps, YouTube), consumers usually just use whatever is preloaded on their devices, unwilling to spend time to look for better options, or are simply unaware that they exist. Removing some of the important pre-installed services will not only have a negative effect on Google’s mobile advertising revenues, but it may also require a major change of the company’s business model.”
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