Google Accused of Anti-Competitive Android App Practices
Remember the huge can of worms Microsoft opened in the ’90s when it bundled Internet Explorer along with its Windows operating systems? Antitrust regulators jumped all over the pairing, arguing that Microsoft was giving its own browser an unfair advantage over the competition. Eventually, the US DOJ reached a settlement with Microsoft, but not after the company spent a small fortune on the litigation. Over a decade later, the tides have seriously turned, and now it’s Microsoft leading the antitrust rallying cry, joining a group of companies in a complaint against Google’s bundling of apps on Android smartphones.
Along with friends like Nokia, Microsoft helped file the complaint against Google with European antitrust regulators. Google has already been under investigation there for its search practices, and this app business only adds another layer to Google’s possible legal troubles.
The question is whether or not this pre-installed Google software constitutes “a deceptive way to build advantages for key Google apps.” Microsoft and its buddies sure seem to think so, with their group arguing that Google mandates prominent placement of such apps by means of its licensing agreements with manufacturers.
It remains to be seen if this new complaint will be acted upon, but Google could well be facing a bumpy road ahead in European courts.