Google attacked over antitrust issues with Android and the mobile market

A group of companies led by Microsoft are calling on European authorities to launch an antitrust investigation into Google. The motion behind the move is the search giant's hold over the mobile industry with Google services on smartphones.

The group (called FairSearch) of 17, which includes Nokia and Oracle claim that Google is acting immorally by giving away the Android mobile operating system to OEM partners with the requirement for its software and service applications (Google Maps, YouTube, etc.) to be installed and prominently displayed. 

Having the largest chunk of market share in the industry (much like Microsoft with Windows), Google finds itself in a position that makes the company an easy target for such claims to be made. Thomas Vinje, FairSearch's Brussels-based lawyer, had the following to comment:

"Google is using its Android mobile operating system as a Trojan horse to deceive partners, monopolize the mobile marketplace, and control consumer data."

It's of course obvious as to why Microsoft would desire to take action against Google, especially with Bing in the picture. As well as search services, Microsoft would look to harm the Android platform in any way it can to help push Windows Phone. FairSearch said the following in a statement:

"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 European Commission isn't obliged to take further action other than to reply to the group's complaint. Google has said in a statement that the company will continue to work cooperatively with the European Commission. The search giant is already under investigation by the EC for practices related to the dominance of online search and advertising.

Google has also come under fire in China for the Android dominance of the smartphone market, forcing the company to defend itself in multiple regions. But we're not finished as several European data privacy regulators are reported to have launched investigations into Google's practices, claiming the company is creating a "data goldmine." It's quite the mess.

Microsoft has continuously poked fun at Google with the GMail Man promotions, alleging the company collects information based on its user base to fire up targeted advertising - Google makes its buck from advertising, and altering the privacy policy last year sparked some complaints.

Source: USA Today

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.