Disconnect, a maker of privacy and security apps, complained to the EC about a Google decision to ban its Disconnect Mobile app from the Play store last year, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) said.
Google banned the app for not adhering to its developer distribution agreement, arguing that it does not allow software that interferes with other apps.
Disconnect, in contrast, argues that its app focuses on “protecting people from invisible tracking and sources of malware” and is being discriminated against because Google favours its own privacy and security software.
A Google spokesman told WSJ that Disconnect’s claims are “baseless,” adding that Google has permitted more than 200 privacy products in its store, but will not allow apps that alter the functionality of other titles.
Writing in a blog post last year when the app was banned, CEO and co-founder Casey Oppenheim said he believes Google probably thinks the Disconnect Mobile app “threatened their tracking and advertising based business model, which accounts for over 90 per cent of Google’s $66 billion in estimated 2014 annual revenue. Put another way, we think Google mistook us for an adblocker”.
He went on to insist that Disconnect is “not opposed to advertising and thinks advertising plays a critical role in the Internet economy. But we are 100 per cent opposed to advertising that invisibly tracks people and compromises their security”.
The complaint comes less than two months after the European Commission started an investigation to see if Google’s actions with Android violate European antitrust law.