Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Microsoft-Led Group Files European Antitrust Complaint Against Google

FairSearch Europe, a group that includes Microsoft, Nokia and others, has officially filed a complaint against Google with the European Commission, Europe’s antitrust authority. They claim that Google’s Android practices have allowed it to monopolize the mobile search market in Europe.

Ars Technica’s Cyrus Farivar reported, “A number of Google’s major competitors, including Microsoft, Nokia, Oracle, TripAdvisor, and others, have filed a formal complaint with the European Commission. They allege that Google has been abusing its position in mobile advertising as a result of the success of the Android operating system. ‘Google is using its Android mobile operating system as a ‘Trojan Horse’ to deceive partners, monopolize the mobile marketplace, and control consumer data,’ said Thomas Vinje, Brussels-based counsel to the FairSearch coalition, in a statement. The group points to the fact that one industry analysis firm, eMarketer, finds that Google has a near-monopoly on mobile search ads.”

According to James Kanter with The New York Times, “In an interview on Monday, the European Union’s antitrust chief, Joaquín Almunia, declined to comment on the new complaint but said officials had been examining the Android operating system independently of the two-year inquiry into whether Google had abused its dominance of Internet search.”

The Guardian’s Charles Arthur noted, “Android-powered phones make up about 70% of those shipped in Europe at present, though a smaller amount of the installed base. Microsoft’s Windows Phone makes up around 5%.”

ReadWrite’s Dan Rowinski pointed out, “FairSearch has already come after Google in the U.S. It logged complaints with the Federal Trade Commission targeting Google’s acquisition of Boston-based travel search engine ITA along with concerns over its AdWords keyword advertising engine tied to search results. In January 2013, after a 19-month investigation, the FTC basically exonerated Google of wrongdoing and chastised it about how it licenses patents.”

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