A group of companies have filed an antitrust complaint in Europe against Google with regard to Android’s dominant market share. James Kanter, New York Times:
The complaint was filed by Fairsearch Europe, a group of Google’s competitors, including the mobile phone maker Nokia and the software titan Microsoft, and by other companies, like Oracle. It accuses Google of using the Android software “as a deceptive way to build advantages for key Google apps in 70 percent of the smartphones shipped today,” said Thomas Vinje, the lead lawyer for Fairsearch Europe, referring to Android’s share of the smartphone market.
For example, phone makers that agree to use Android — and that also want Google applications like YouTube — face contractual requirements to place those applications and other Google-branded applications in prominent positions on the mobile device’s desktop, Mr. Vinje said.
The irony of Microsoft filing an antitrust complaint in Europe isn’t lost on anyone. Remember, though, that Microsoft sold Windows to manufacturers, while Google gives Android away. Much like Microsoft with Windows, this has allowed Google to operate Android at a dominant and impactful scale. But unlike Windows, Android is being sold well below cost in what Fairsearch Europe alleges is a predatory way.
Any way you cut this, Google needs to take responsibility for the market they dominate in terms of percentage of smartphone users. Remember that monopolies aren’t illegal in most countries; however, they must follow laws that attempt to curtail their influence.