Today the European Union filed a formal charge against Google, stating that the global Android giant was using it operating system to ‘squeeze out’ rivals. The EU regulators said that Google’s requiring of mobile phone manufacturers to pre-install the Chrome browser and Google Search to get access to other Google apps was stifling competition and harming consumers.
This is the latest in the multiple ongoing investigations of Google’s business practices. We’ve reported the EU’s previous moves regarding Google, in addition to the investigations of Russia, the United States and others. See below for the links.
Since the EU has previously filed charges over Google’s promotion of it’s shopping services, this can only cause European business relations to become even more tenuous for the Mountain View colossus. “A competitive mobile Internet sector is increasingly important for consumers and businesses in Europe,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement. She added, “We believe that Google’s behavior denies consumers a wider choice of mobile apps and services and stands in the way of innovation by other players.“
It’s too early to tell what long-term economic effect this will have on Google in Europe and elsewhere, but there seems to be more and more acrimony towards Google as the company and specifically Android becomes more and more dominant throughout the world.
Google has twelve weeks to respond to the charges. Said Kent Walker, general counsel for Google, “We look forward to working with the European Commission to demonstrate that Android is good for competition and good for consumers.”
None of us can look into the future but, hopefully, this charge and others can be worked out in a compromise that is beneficial to European consumers, satisfactory to competitors and not staggering to Google.
At some point, we’ll see.
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