European Commission files complaint against Google over Android abuse




The European Commission has sent a Statement of Objections’ to Google and its parent company Alphabet. The company would have abused its dominant market position in search services by imposing restrictions on Android devices manufacturers.

The case revolves around the fact that Google according to the European Commission would abuse its dominant position in the market for search engines. It has done so by makers of smartphones and tablets to impose the requirement to Google apps like Search and installing the Chrome browser in advance on their Android devices. Google Commission also suspects that the company manufacturers pay large sums for this exclusivity. The problem is that it limits consumer choice and more difficult for new apps to reach the general public. Moreover, it would deter the company its manufacturers to offer devices with forks of Android.

Google has a dominant market position in Europe can be derived in part from the market share of Android. This amounted to 71 percent according to figures research firm IDC last year published . Apple’s iOS operating system, however, has a market share of about 24 percent. Under European law is presumed from a market share of 50 percent that a company has a dominant position on the relevant market. In the market for search services Google has a share of over 90 percent, according to commissioner Margrethe Vestager during a press conference.

EU flags There are several complaints about Google’s Android strategy submitted to the European Commission, including through the organization Fair Search. This organization, which includes Oracle, Nokia and until recently Microsoft belong, Google has been more in the spotlight because the company would thwart competition in the field of search engines. In his complaint, explains the organization from manufacturers that Google would have misled by presenting Android as an open source alternative to other mobile operating systems.

In reality, however, Google would offer two versions of Android, the AOSP and a system that Fair Search ‘Google Android’ calls. This would offer the company to manufacturers and ensure that it is becoming more closed, for example by implementing a Play Services layer that is not open source. Important applications would depend on them so that other apps are increasingly dependent and example will not work on other versions of Android, or forks. Almost all Android devices sold in Europe have the Play-flight services.

Now that the complaint has been released by the European Union Google has the ability to react and to gain insight into the acquired file. Thereafter, the Commission may adjust or maintain its complaints. The Commission shall adopt a final decision in which a fine may be connected. This has the aim to punish and other companies to deter. The fine can be up to ten percent of the annual turnover of a company.

It is unlikely that such a penalty is imposed in the case of Google, this would amount to 6.5 billion euros with an annual turnover of $ 74 billion in 2015. The highest fine was so far in 2009 imposed on Intel and amounted to 1, 06 billion, or 4.5 percent of the worldwide turnover of the company. Besides a fine is possible for businesses and individuals who have been harmed by Google’s conduct a filing a claim against the company in their national courts. The Commission adopts the illegality of the conduct based on the basis of the European Commission.

There are currently underway in the EU in addition to the current procedure, which started in April 2015 also other cases against Google. The European Commission, the company it accused to favor its own price comparison service in search results. Also Wednesday the media company News Corp. has a complaint against Google filed because it would scrape the news content without permission. In addition, walk more things about ads and the Maps application.

In a blog post responding Google in general terms on the charge of the European Commission, claiming that the Android ecosystem is indeed open and encourages innovation. A detailed response is still awaited


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