EU Officially Charges Google with Anti-Trust Violations over App Bundling & Android Contracts

Discussion in 'Android News' started by dgstorm, Apr 20, 2016.

  1. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief
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    The European Union has moved from investigating Google to charging them for supposedly violating anti-trust regulations. This charge is in reference to the way Google has bundled apps with Android, and for the aggressive contracts with Android OEMs which forced them to do so.

    Margrethe Vestager, EU's commissioner for competition, specifically explained that Google violated EU anti-trust laws by "requiring manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and Google's Chrome browser and requiring them to set Google Search as the default search service on their devices, as a condition to license certain Google proprietary apps;" and by "preventing manufacturers from selling smart mobile devices running on competing operating systems based on the Android open source code;" and finally by "giving financial incentives to manufacturers and mobile network operators on condition that they exclusively pre-install Google Search on their devices."

    Basically, the EU contends that Google's contracts force Android OEMs to bundle Google's Apps, like Chrome and Google Search by creating a host of requirements in order to use and license these apps. The EU believes this hurts competition by taking away choices from the OEMs to bundle apps from other developers besides Google.

    The EU's other main problem is that they believe Google made it nearly impossible for any potential rivals to design a competing search engine, app store, or browser for Android. They claim Google did this by requiring the Play Store installed in order for Chrome or Google Search to be installed.

    Of course, Google has a counter-argument which is pretty convincing. Google points out that OEMs are only required to agree to design their device to ensure that Android apps will function properly on any device which uses the Android base OS. Google explains their intent is to make sure the user experience is good if customers choose to use their apps on an Android device.

    Furthermore, Google also pointed out that device OEMs can use the Android OS without agreeing to anything except the terms of use document you read before downloading AOSP code. They can then fork Android in any way they choose, and make their own apps prominent instead of Google's apps.

    Google highlighted Amazon as the prime example of this, since they use the base Android OS for their Fire tablets, yet do not feature any Google apps prominently as the primary choice for users of the tablets. Owners of Amazon Fire tablets can side-load Google apps on their device, if they choose to.

    Google's final argument pointed out that any OEM who chooses to use Android can choose to load the suite of Google apps to their device at any time, and they are perfectly free to add other apps as well. For example, phones today come loaded with a plethora of of pre-installed apps from various sources, including Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and even the mobile carriers themselves. The gist of Google's argument is that they provide the Android OS (and support for it) for FREE, and all they ask in return is that OEMs that choose to use it make sure that Google apps will function properly on the device which uses it.

    What do you think of Google's chances of beating the EU in court?

    Source: Google Blog & Europa.eu
     
    #1 dgstorm, Apr 20, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
  2. Gremlin

    Gremlin Active Member

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    Go Google..
     
  3. pc747

    pc747 Administrator
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    So it's OK that Apple does that but not Google.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk
     
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  4. Jonny Kansas

    Jonny Kansas Administrator
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    Yeah, I'm not seeing how it's any more anti-competitive than anything that anyone else does. You can replace defaults for basically anything they pre-load. You can even set Cortana, Hound, etc. to be you primary voice assistant.

    Microsoft puts Office (or the links to get it) and IE on their computers. I don't use either, but I don't feel like they're blocking the competition by offering their services initially. IE is really good at downloading Chrome. :D
     
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  5. tech_head

    tech_head Silver Member

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    If you want Google to help you then I don't see why they can't say, use this or that.
    Like Google said, anyone can download the AOSP and build and fork to their hearts content.
     
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  6. xeene

    xeene Gold Member

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    Eu should just ban everything Google and see what people will have to say about it. These bureaucrats are jealous because all Google profits are heading oversees to us of a.
     
  7. mountainbikermark

    mountainbikermark Super Moderator
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    Just another example of social justice attempts. Not fair that Google makes a gazillion dollars so let's force things.

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  8. Jonny Kansas

    Jonny Kansas Administrator
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    I have to admit, I was wondering where you would stand on this topic, since I know that you like to think of many of the Gapps as bloat, where I don't see them that way because I like to use them.

    Couldn't agree with you more on this particular topic.
     
  9. zinethar

    zinethar Senior Member

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    Although I can see a real problem in apps that are not removable This does seem like a reach by EU. What I do admire is the fact that the EU seems to actually look out for their peoples best interest where I see few examples of similar things happening in the US
     
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  10. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey Premium Member
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    In this case, I feel Google is being falsely accused. Being one of the largest companies in the world makes for an easy target..
     
  11. mountainbikermark

    mountainbikermark Super Moderator
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    If it was about bloatware that GOOGLE installed I'd agree with the EU. If the Nexus was our only choice of device I'd be on their side.
    Since social justice in reality is about the chosen rich getting richer under the guise of helping the masses I'm wondering about those that decided to charge and their stock portfolios. How much Apple stock they have. If anyone has a stranglehold on revenue it's Apple. I look back a few years at the bans on sales of Samsung devices across some of Europe when I see this thread to aid my opinion.
    Google just created something that the masses prefer that just so happens to be making money by the gazillions.

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  12. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief
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    Yeah... it seems crazy to me that they are calling out Google for what is basically very mild behavior, when the way Apple does things with their devices and OS is far, far more draconian. It definitely smells very fishy... :confused:
     
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