Google has long stressed that Android, its popular mobile
software, is open for anyone to use, including its rivals.
But the company’s claims are now under threat after Europe’s
antitrust authorities on Wednesday charged the company with
unfairly using Android to promote its own services — like mobile
search — over those of its rivals. In doing so, regulators
brought particular scrutiny to Google’s relationships with some of
the world’s biggest cellphone makers, which have helped expand the
reach of Android.
Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s antitrust chief, said
Google had required some of the cellphone manufacturers to
preinstall the company’s services, including its Google Play
smartphone application store, and had given them unfair
financial incentives to favor Google’s services on their mobile
devices. Those practices undermined competition and consumer
choice, she said.
Does Google play hardball? Yes. That’s the game. This seems like a bunch of bullshit. I agree with Nilay Patel here: “The EU’s idea of ‘potentially superior versions of Android’ is some real magical thinking.”