Back in June, the European Commission ruled against Google in an antitrust case surrounding the search engine’s ‘Shopping’ site. According to the commission, Google promoted its own services on the shopping page, harming competition and resulting in a massive €2.42 billion fine. However, this wasn’t the only antitrust case out against Google, the EU is also investigating Android, which could end up netting Google an even bigger fine.
Last month’s antitrust fine against Google was the biggest the EU has ever handed down, beating out Intel’s fine from several years ago. Now, according to Reuters, EU regulators are considering being even harsher in the Android antitrust case, after rival software companies complained that Google forced phone makers to bundle Google’s suite of apps if they wanted access to the Play Store.
The complaint seems to be that some apps and services end up being at a disadvantage if Google’s own apps are already pre-installed and readily accessible. If the European Commission ends up ruling this as anti-competitive behaviour, then it could mean that Google will need to make some fundamental changes to Android, as parts of the OS are now tied in to various services, like Google Now.
A final decision in this case may not arrive for some time but right now, a panel is reviewing the EU’s plans and the final ruling should be announced before the end of this year.
KitGuru Says: While it might be true that having pre installed Google apps may make it less likely for some users to go looking elsewhere for various things, for the most part, Google just makes good apps. I don’t necessarily think that forcing Google to remove its own apps will make them any less popular than they already are, it just means users will have to actively look those apps up instead.