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Anti-Google search rivals gang up, complain to EU regulator over Android news
09 April 2013

Android LogoA European search lobby which counts Nokia, Microsoft and Oracle among its members, in a complaint filed with Europe's competition regulator, has accused Google of running an anti-competitive Android strategy.

The complaint was filed by Fairsearch.org, which, in addition to the three tech giants, includes Google's vertical search rivals such as Kayak, TripAdvisor, Hotwire and Expedia, among others.

Google has been accused by Fairsearch of distributing Android at below-cost, making it difficult for rivals to compete with its mobile platform, which accounted for 70 per cent of smartphones shipped in 2012.

While Android comes free to device makers, these manufacturers have to include Google apps such as YouTube or its Play store  and preload Google mobile services to give them prominent default placement on the phone, the complainants allege.

According to Thomas Vinje, Brussels-based counsel to the Fairsearch coalition, Google was using its Android mobile operating system as a 'trojan horse' to deceive partners, monopolise the mobile marketplace, and control consumer data.

He added that Fairsearch was asking the Commission to move quickly and decisively to protect competition and innovation in this critical market. He added, failure to act would only embolden Google to repeat its desktop abuses of dominance as consumers increasingly turned to a mobile platform dominated by Google's Android operating system.

The Microsoft-led group, had, in an earlier complaint, that remains unresolved, approached the the Commission over Google's search practices, in particular its alleged tendency to rank Google services higher than those of rivals.

However with handset maker Nokia and anti-Android litigator Oracle joining FairSearch last September, the extension of the fight to the mobile sphere had been a foregone conclusion.





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Anti-Google search rivals gang up, complain to EU regulator over Android