FairSearch files EU antitrust complaint over Android
Under the collective name of FairSearch.org, a group of companies including Microsoft, Nokia, Oracle, and the travel companies Expedia Inc. and TripAdvisor have lodged an antitrust complaint against Google with the European Commission. The coalition of companies is alleging that Google's practices of bundling applications with its Android mobile OS is giving it an unfair advantage in the mobile devices market.
FairSearch calls Google's distribution of Android "predatory" and says the company's "below-cost" development approach "makes it difficult for other providers of operating systems to recoup investments in competing with Google’s dominant mobile platform". The group says that Google's 96 per cent share of the mobile search market and its 70 per cent market share of smartphone operating systems, coupled with "deceptive conduct to lockout competition", gives it a monopoly position in this market.
The European Commission's Vice President and antitrust Commissioner Joaquín Almunia is currently looking at Google's dominance in the search market as part of an investigation that has been ongoing for more than two years and which has yet to yield any concrete results. FairSearch was involved in these proceedings as well. According to the Guardian, the team responsible for this investigation has been considering whether it should include Android in a settlement in this case, but has yet to reach a decision on this point. The Guardian reports that "Almunia declined to comment on Monday about the complaint but said that he would be receiving proposals this week from Google on how to settle the EC's objections."