A group of companies including Microsoft and Nokia have filed an antitrust complaint with the EU, alleging that Google’s mobile apps are given an unfair advantage by being bundled with the Android OS.
The group — collectively known as FairSearch — stated that while the core Android OS is free, device vendors who want to licence Google’s apps such as Maps, YouTube and Google Play must include the entire Google Apps suite and give it “prominent default placement on the phone”.
“This disadvantages other providers, and puts Google’s Android in control of consumer data on a majority of smartphones shipped today,” the group added in its statement.
The statement went on to say that Google’s approach of offering Android “below cost” and its “predatory distribution” of the OS makes it difficult for competing software makers to recoup their investments.
FairSearch counsel Thomas Vinje called Android a “Trojan Horse” aimed at deceiving partners, monopolising the mobile market and controlling consumer data. “European consumers deserve a rigorous investigation of Google’s mobile practices, and real protections against further abuses by Google,” he added.
The group cited Google’s 96 per cent share of the mobile search market and 70 per cent share of device shipments as evidence of its monopoly power.
The EU is already investigating Google’s search practice for giving its own businesses an unfair advantage. European competition commissioner Joaquín Almunia said the FairSearch complaint is a “new step in the investigation”, the New York Times reports.