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Careful Google, the European Commission are coming after you.
An investigation is being opened into Google’s practices, operations and conduct by the European Commission it has been confirmed. The Commission are of the belief that Google may have abused the dominance that they have over markets and not playing fairly when it comes to incentivising phone and tablet makers.
The basis for opening the investigation is due to the belief that Google has been playing unfairly in the market, incentivising phone and tablet makers to “exclusively pre-install Google’s own applications and services” on all new devices. So when someone buys a new phone or tablet, Google apps and services are already on the device, placing the Search Engine behemoth ahead of competition immediately. The main concern is that they are using unfair incentives to do this along with their dominant market position.
The investigation will also try to figure out if Google’s pre-installed apps and services actually hinder rivals from downloading modified versions of Android on devices and directly affect their access. If proven true, this could spell huge trouble for Google!
Google believes that they are playing by the rules. Hiroshi Lockheime, Android Engineering VP announced via his own blog that “The European Commission has asked questions about our partner agreements. It’s important to remember that are voluntary – again, you can use Android without Google – but provide real benefits to Android users, developers and the broader ecosystem“.
A lot has to happen over the next while before any outcome is reached but we will keep our readers up to date. The Commission have given the tech giant 10 weeks to respond, but if found to be in the wrong, rest assured Google will have to pay out an astronomical sum of money. Let’s see how it goes.