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E.U. Charges Google For Abusing its Monopoly on Android OS

     
10:50 am on Apr 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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As predicted earlier, the E.U. has charged Google over its dominance and imposing restrictions on Android OS device manufacturers.

The European Commission has informed Google of its preliminary view that the company has, in breach of EU antitrust rules, abused its dominant position by imposing restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators. E.U. Charges Google With Antitrust on Android OS Restrictions [europa.eu]
The Commission's investigation showed that Google obliges manufacturers, who wish to pre-install Google's app store for Android, Play Store, on their devices, to also pre-install Google Search, and set it as the default search provider on those devices. In addition, manufacturers who wish to pre-install Google's Play Store or Search, also have to pre-install Google's Chrome browser. Thereby, Google has ensured that Google Search and Google Chrome are pre-installed on the significant majority of devices sold in the EEA.


earlier story Report: E.U. Readies Charging Google With Abuse Over Supplementary Licensing in Android [webmasterworld.com]
12:05 pm on Apr 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Some media coverage:
[rte.ie...]

[bbc.com...]

Looks like things are not going well for Google. There's still that other issue to be resolved.

Regards...jmcc
12:43 pm on Apr 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Finaly somone catch up with this abusive monster. One can only hope the EU rips them a new one. They've earned it!

Do no evil. Hahahah......
They've been doing nothing but in the last 10 years.

What about the rest of the world. How come no other governments go after Google?.... what's not clear?
12:52 pm on Apr 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft anyone? Same story, different mega-corporation.
12:58 pm on Apr 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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And MSFT had to pay fines.There's going to be a storm of pro-Google coverage from Google's FUDbuddies in the media about this one.

Regards...jmcc
3:25 pm on Apr 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I suspect there'll be a quietly negotiated settlement. Google have toned down some of their worst abuses lately and the EU have gone quiet on the monopoly issues. The two are not unconnected IMO.
3:15 am on Apr 21, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Google Search and Android are just a couple of the monopolies managed by Alphabet. That's why Google spun them all off, this way the parent corporation and executives are somewhat legally shielded from all the abuse their subsidiaries are responsible for. If nothing else, the EU has proven they are not puppets like politicians and regulators in the USA are.
3:42 am on Apr 21, 2016 (gmt 0)

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There's much I might say that would be just more "me, too" commentary, however I will note that even if the EU is victorious, as they were over MSFT, they will lose in the long run since the rules are now known, defined, and CODIFIED. That distinctino allows the company penalized to work up to and blur that legal boundary. When told what you CAN'T do that merely gives permission to try everything else. Companies like MSFT and G are, if nothing else, very creative!
5:45 am on Apr 22, 2016 (gmt 0)

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It seems to be a straightforward case of bundling, so I do not think it marks a boundary: it is not codifying a new rule, but applying an existing one.
4:08 am on May 3, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Funny, Apple does whatever Apple wants in it's wholly owned walled garden monopoly and nobody cares.

Google allows anyone to use Android, Apple does not.

There are other Android options, such as the Amazon app store and others, Google's is NOT the only store in town and I'd recommend others go with Amazon if they can just to teach Google a lesson. Truth be told, couldn't anyone just start their own OpenSource App Store and bypass all the google nonsense?
4:43 am on May 3, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Short answer, yes, people can. Other short answer: who will see it?
8:01 am on May 3, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Google allows anyone to use Android, Apple does not.
While basically I agree, there are some devils in the details....

Google's iron grip on Android: Controlling open source
Nov 2013
https://www.webmasterworld.com/mobile_application_design_development/4620889.htm [webmasterworld.com]
8:21 am on May 3, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Funny, Apple does whatever Apple wants in it's wholly owned walled garden monopoly and nobody cares.


That is because current monopoly law has not caught up with technology. Give it a hundred years or so and legislators may just understand that IT based industries do not work the same way as producing mechanical devices.
6:22 am on May 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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There is such a level of ignorance to put Apple in the same boat as Google it defies a response.
6:36 am on May 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@MrSavage, could you explain to us and dispel our ignorance?
8:34 am on May 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Apple is different from Android in one straightforward way. You buy an Apple iPhone, and you get Apple software. You have a choice not to buy Apple hardware. Additionally, it's not the dominant format, or promoted and sold as open source.

With Android, it's on other makers hardware, and if you but Samsung, HTC, or whoever, and it's got Android, you're locked into the Google ecosystem, and getting out of it is tough for the average user.

Microsoft and the browser issue in the EU was that you bought a Windows PC, which held the dominant position, and the default was Microsoft IE. There was no apparent choice from a user point of view.

There are parallels to be drawn, and Google's dominant position, especially in Europe, is what's on the radar of the E.U. regulators.
10:11 am on May 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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You have a choice not to buy Apple hardware.


You have a choice not to buy hardware running Android, or you can buy hardware running Android that does not follow Google's rules. Vendors can simply not include the Google apps and provide their own app store (as Amazon does).

Google merely bundles its apps together - so if you want one Google app you have to install the lot. There is nothing to stop you installing apps outside the app store, or using a different app store.

With Apple the hardware, the OS, default apps and the app store are all bundled.

Google gives everyone a LOT more choice than Apple does.
11:07 am on May 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Google gives everyone a LOT more choice than Apple does.


But, that's not the point, surely. Apple is Apple, hardware and software. If you bought an Apple device you wouldn't expect to have the Google Play store. And, importantly, Apple is not the dominant player in the E.U. If Apple were the dominant player in Europe it may be different.

The fact that Google forces other phone makers to bundle Google apps on Android is the problem, on top of their dominant market share in the E.U. If Android had a considerably smaller share of the market, and there was no dominant player, this would not be an issue, i'm sure.

Just as annoying is that that I cannot remove certain apps that I don't want, and not just Google apps. They are not essential to the Android system, but, they constantly update themselves, and of course, phone home.