EU Questions Google On Android Antitrust Matters
The European Commission Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has written to Google informing the company that it believes its position on Android and Google Mobile Services is anti-competitive and an abuse of the platform's dominant position.
It's the first step on a (very long) road to charging the company under EU law.
The complaint was driven by the EU's Mobile Networks, who felt that the requirement to have all of Google's services or none at all put them at a competitive disadvantage. Not particularly in the area of phone sales, where network-branded phones grab a small chunk of the overall phone market, but more specifically in the areas of areas such as browsing, navigation, app stores and music services.
Its an interesting position, however its likely that Google will counter with its argument that networks are free to pre-install whatever software they desire on phones they sell. The problem is that when they do customers don't like it. And of course the alternative is Apple, which allows no variation of its default software package.
Given everything else that's going on in the EU, from corporate tax evasion, crumbling economies, hundreds of refugees from the Middle East drowning in its waters every week and the desire of major economies to abandon the concept of union, the question of Google's app policies seems like something that should be way down the priority list.