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Google staring down potential Android bundling complaint in EU

updated 02:22 pm EDT, Fri August 8, 2014

EU companies polled about Google's Android policies and deals

Antitrust actions against Google in Europe seem to be growing. European Union regulators have sent out questionnaires to those possibly impacted by Google's decisions about Android policies, and are requesting "any written or unwritten" exclusivity deals that the search engine giant has made with wireless carriers, developers, and other companies.

The European Commission is asking companies to provide any documentation, in any form, back to 2007 about the mobile operating system. Also, companies are being queried if Google has demanded that its apps be required on any devices with the operating system installed.

This query is more demanded than requested. Firms receiving the information request have no choice but to comply with the demands, and will be censured and fined if they fail to do so before September 12. A formal complaint by the Commission would be filed after the documents have been examined, but would probably not happen until after EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia departs in October.

Any complaint would likely be separate to the one that is nearing its conclusion with the European Commission over Google search results favoring its own products compared to those of its competitors. The agreed-to proposals for specialized services, such as hotels and restaurants, will include a notice next to results promoting Google's own services, with the results themselves "graphically separated" from other search results. Specific searches will include prominent links to three rival services, with the links themselves required to be similar to those for Google.

by MacNN Staff



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