Google faces mobile internet usage complaint by Microsoft

Telecom Lead America: Microsoft has alleged that Google is using unfair practices to cement its control over mobile internet usage on smartphones.

A group of companies led by Microsoft — in a European antitrust complaint — said that Google is acting unfairly by giving away its Android operating system to mobile device companies on the condition that the U.S. online giant’s own software applications like YouTube and Google Maps are installed and prominently displayed.

AP reports that the other members of the FairSearch initiative include Nokia and Oracle. Nokia brings out Lumia range of smartphones using Microsoft Windows platform.

IDC suggests that Android will lose some of its market share and will slip from 68.3 percent in 2012 to 63.8 percent in 2016. Microsoft’s smartphone OS is predicted to take 11.4 percent of the market.

IDC believes that despite the slide, Google’s mobile OS will continue to be the market leader thanks to various low-end and mid-range offerings from LG, Sony, and Samsung.

Thomas Vinje, the group’s Brussels-based lawyer, said: “Google is using its Android mobile operating system as a Trojan horse to deceive partners, monopolize the mobile marketplace, and control consumer data.”

“Google’s predatory distribution of Android at below-cost makes it difficult for other providers of operating systems to recoup investments in competing with Google’s dominant mobile platform,” FairSearch said in a statement.

The European Commission, the 27-nation bloc’s executive arm and antitrust authority, is not obliged to take any action other than reply to the group’s complaint.

Google did not address the complaint’s charges in detail. “We continue to work cooperatively with the European Commission,” said Google spokesman Al Verney.


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