Google is a magnet for antitrust complaints, so it’s never a shock when a new one is filed. This time it’s Aptoide, and the complaint alleges “abuse of a dominant position in the App Store market.”
Aptoide operates an independent app store for Android. The company says Google is leveraging its dominance in the Android OS for mobile phones to control the app store market, which it says is worth an estimated annual $23 billion, based on data from ABI Research.
“Aptoide is the world’s largest independent App Store for Android phones, but we are struggling to grow, even to survive, in the face of Google systematically setting up obstacles for users to install third-party App Stores in the Android platform and blocking competition in their Google Play store,” said Paulo Trezentos, co-founder and CEO of Aptoide.
The complaint also alleges what “illegal bundling as Google couples its API Services with Google Play which is the dominant Android App Store.”
“For no reason Google regularly suspends Aptoide from appearing on Google Play thereby depriving the start-up of accessing consumers and vice versa,” the company said in a press release.
COO Álvaro Pinto added, “We are only asking the Commission to restore fair competition in the market, so we can compete on our own merits.”
The European Commission has already been eyeing Google’s business practices when it comes to Android. It will be interesting to see if this new complaint plays any role in the progression of events surrounding that.
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