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Android complaint piled on existing EU Google antitrust investigation

updated 09:55 pm EDT, Mon April 8, 2013

New Fairsearch Europe complaint adds Android to monopoly list

Possibly adding to the complexity of Google's negotiations with the European Commission, the regulator has received an additional antitrust complaint. This time, Google's Android is under assault by Fairsearch Europe, a group consisting of Nokia, Microsoft, Oracle, and others. The complaint accuses Android of being "a deceptive way to build advantages for key Google apps in 70 percent of the smartphones shipped today."

European Union antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia had no comment on the new complaint in any detail, other than saying that "this is a new step in the investigation," but did say officials had been evaluating the mobile OS in parallel to the complaints about Google manipulating internet search results.

Almunia said in a Monday interview with the New York Times that he was still in active discussions with the search engine to deal with the first complaint. Almunia believes that Google needs to clearly mark sponsored content or content from its own portfolio of products. "I don't know if you should call it labeling, or whatever, but they need to distinguish," Almunia said.

As part of the initial complaint, companies have complained of not being locatable on Google if they either posed a threat or did not pay to comply with Google's terms. "What is clear in our view is the market dominance of Google," Almunia claimed. "This is obvious."

Google has claimed to continue to work "cooperatively" with the European investigative commission. Google is staring down a fine of up to 10 percent of its annual global income if found to be in violation of EU antitrust laws, estimated to be as high as $3.79 billion. No announcement has been made as to the estimated completion date of the investigation.

by MacNN Staff



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