Thursday, 09 March 2017 10:04

Publishers say Google pushing them out of Android market


A group of publishers, including Axel Springer and Getty Images, has lodged a complaint with the European Union against Google, accusing it of imposing restrictions on manufacturers of Android devices and wireless service providers.

The Open Internet Project, which made the complaint, accused Google of "contractual restraints on manufacturers of Android smartphones and tablets, which make it virtually impossible for them to produce and market Google-free devices".

This is the third complaint lodged with the EU against Google.

Last April, the EU issued a chargesheet to Google, accusing the search giant of breaching EU anti-trust rules.

In its response to these charges, Google's Kent Walker said it did not tilt searches towards its own services, and claiming that the EU had failed to see that companies like eBay and Amazon were competing with it.

Google also faces EU charges that it has abused its search monopoly for which it may be fined up to €6.6 billion, a tenth of its annual sales.

The company could suffer in terms of business as well. According to the EU, Google Play, the Android app store, accounted for 90% of all apps downloaded in 2015.

Wednesday's complaint by the OIP claims Google is giving prime position to its own search engine in its Chrome browser, and others, such as Qwant (which is a French product), are not offered as a choice to users.

Google has avoided being hauled over the coals in the US because it wielded considerable political clout during the last Democrat administration, with its officials having access to the White House regularly.

The company has also gained a foot in the Trump regime, with a former executive, Joshua Wright, being put in charge of transition efforts at the Federal Trade Commission.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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