The wagons are circling around Google. Under the FairSearch.org banner, Expedia, Microsoft , Nokia, Oracle, TripAdvisor and a host of others have filed a complaint with the European Commission laying out the search engine giant's alleged anti-competitive strategy to "dominate the mobile marketplace and cement its control over consumer Internet data for online advertising as usage shifts to mobile."
At the core of the argument is the success of Google Android , which is the dominant smartphone. According to Strategy Analytics, Android is running on 70 percent of smartphones shipped at the end of 2012. And eMarketer reports that Google dominates mobile search advertising with 96% of the market. The FairSearch.org complaint accuses Google of using deceptive conduct to lockout competition in mobile.
"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. "We are asking the Commission to move quickly and decisively to protect competition and innovation in this critical market. Failure to act will only embolden Google to repeat its desktop abuses of dominance as consumers increasingly turn to a mobile platform dominated by Google's Android operating system."
Google Anti-Trust Complaint Specifics
FairSearch reasons that Google gained dominance in the mobile operating system market by making Android free. But in reality, the coalition's complaint alleges, Android phone-makers who want to include must-have Google apps such as Maps, YouTube or Play are required to pre-load an entire suite of Google mobile services and to give them prominent default placement on the phones. This disadvantages other providers, and puts Google's Android in control of consumer data on a majority of smartphones shipped today.
What's more, 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, the complaint says.
"European consumers deserve a rigorous investigation of Google's mobile practices, and real protections against further abuses by Google," said Vinje. "Given Google's track record of ignoring the law, mobile Internet users should be very concerned."
Ganging Up on Google
Posted: 2013-04-09 @ 11:02am PT
Google's search engine is a dinosaur, not really sure how they could reasonably dominate anything. In short, it sucks.