Date
18 January 2017
Google has been accused of using its Android mobile operating system to stifle competition. Photo: Bloomberg
Google has been accused of using its Android mobile operating system to stifle competition. Photo: Bloomberg

EU hits Google with fresh antitrust charge

The European Union on Wednesday slapped fresh anti-competition charges against Google, accusing the US technology giant of abusing the dominance of its Android mobile operating system.

By requiring mobile phone makers to pre-install Google Search and the Google Chrome browser to get access to other Google apps, the company was harming consumers by stifling competition, EU antitrust regulators said, according to Reuters.

“A competitive mobile Internet sector is increasingly important for consumers and businesses in Europe,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager was quoted as saying.

“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,” she said, opening a second front against the US Internet titan that could result in large fines.

Google is already facing EU charges over the promotion of its shopping service in Internet searches at the expense of rival services in a case that has dragged on since late 2010.

Google, which has 12 weeks to respond to the EU charges, said Android is a remarkable system based on open-source software and open innovation.

“We look forward to working with the European Commission to demonstrate that Android is good for competition and good for consumers,” a Google spokesman said.

Any phone maker could load Google apps and rival products and that users had freedom of choice as well, he said.

Google has been accused of hindering the development of versions that might lead to new operating systems able to compete with Android, despite launching it as an open source project.

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RC

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