Android Antitrust Investigation Starting To Ramp Up

Chris CrumBusiness

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An EU antitrust investigation into Google's business practices related to Android has been in the works for over a year, following a complaint filed by in April, 2013. Now, things are starting to heat up.

Reuters is reporting that regulators are getting ready to challenge the company's mobile software business in the coming months. According to the report:

Two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said that with a new antitrust chief taking over in November, European regulators are laying the groundwork for a case centered on whether Google abuses the 80 percent market share of its Android mobile operating system to promote services from maps to search.

The Commission has stepped up inquiries just in recent weeks, sending companies questionnaires that seek far more details than previous queries on the matter in 2011 and 2013.

FairSearch's complaint deemed Google's Android-related practices "a deceptive way to build advantages for key Google apps" in a majority share of the smartphone market.

Reuters reports that a questionnaire it has seen asked respondents if there was a requirement set by Google that they not pre-install apps, products, or services on mobile devices that compete with Google's offerings.

Google, if of course, still embroiled in a separate antitrust investigation in the EU, related to its search business. That one has been going on for nearly four years, and recently added a new complainant in Yelp.

Last month, Aptoide, which operates an independent Android app store, filed an antitrust complaint against Google alleging "legal bundling as Google couples its API Services with Google Play which is the dominant Android App Store.”

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Chris Crum

Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.