Another week, another European Commission legal case for Google to answer after Brussels chiefs issued formal antitrust charges over claims that the US giant abuses the dominant position of its Android operating system.
The Commission has sent a statement of objections to the tech firm, alleging that it has breached EU competition law, including placing onerous requirements on firms using Android and stifling competition.
According to the EC figures, Google has about a 90% share in the EU for general Internet search services, licensable smart mobile operating systems and app stores for the Android mobile operating system, making it dominant.
“Virtually every phone maker using Google Android in the European Union has bowed to Google’s demands, suppressing competition by other app makers and preventing free choice for consumers,” it said in a statement.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Google has rejected the charges, with its senior vice president and general counsel Kent Walker insisting: “Android has helped foster a remarkable and, importantly, sustainable ecosystem, based on open-source software and open innovation. We look forward to working with the Commission.”
Google has been given 12 weeks to respond, and, if found guilty, the company faces a fine and could be required to change its practices.
The company is no stranger to Brussels threats; the Commission first launched an anti-trust probe of its search business in 2010, although it has yet to reach a conclusion.
See no evil? Google hit by bot claim
Data sparks rise in real-time ads
Google UK chief to chair DMAs
EU threat to Google privacy
Google ‘pandering to advertisers’