Google may face EU charge for ‘abusing Android dominance’

android eu

With almost 80% of the world’s devices running on the Android operating system made by Google, it may now come into a charge by the European Commission who say that Google has breached EU policies and have abused their dominance of its operating system, Android.

The BBC reported that Kent Walker, Google’s senior vice president and general counsel, said:

“Android has helped foster a remarkable and, importantly, sustainable ecosystem, based on open-source software and open innovation. We look forward to working with the European Commission.”

Margrethe Vestager, European competition commissioner,  said she had reached conclusion that  Google was in breach of EU law and has been given 12 days (from today) to respond or face a charge and be asked to refine its policies.

Google had given financial incentives to manufacturers and mobile network operators on condition they exclusively preinstalled Google Search on their devices.

The argument is that Google leaves little room for competition, often asking device makers to only partner as long as Android is the sole operating system they can run, leaving no other options.

Google’s Android is open-source software and other possible OS creators can create competitive software using its code, but the EU says that Google has barred device makers from selling products running on these OSes.

The report further says :

“according to the European Commission, Google has about a 90% share in the markets for general internet search services, licensable smart mobile operating systems and app stores for the Android mobile operating system, making it dominant. Ms Vestager said the issue was particularly important because smartphones and tablets accounted for most global internet traffic, and were expected to account for even more in the future. She said about 80% of smart mobile devices ran on Android.”

The main complainant in the case is lobbying group FairSearch who stated:

“Google requires manufacturers using key apps on Android, such as Google Play or YouTube, to also install others that it specifies. Virtually every phone maker using Google Android in the European Union has bowed to Google’s demands, suppressing competition by other app makers and preventing free choice for consumers.”

This is not the first run in with the legislation that Google has had. See most of them in the full BBC report here.


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