Microsoft and Nokia consortium files EU antitrust suit over Google Android

FairSearch, a consortium made up of Google competitors including Oracle, Microsoft and Nokia, has filed an antitrust suit in the European Union against Google over its Android smartphone platform.

A statement on the group’s website accuses Google of “deceptive conduct to lockout competition in mobile”.

The group also claims Google’s support of Android is an “anti-competitive strategy to dominate the mobile marketplace and cement its control over consumer internet data for online advertising as usage shifts to mobile.”

Citing Android’s strong position in the smartphone market and mobile search advertising, the lobby group accuses Google of requiring handset vendors, including Samsung and HTC, to pre-install other services, such as Google Maps or YouTube.

“Google achieved its dominance in the smartphone operating system market by giving Android to device-makers for ‘free’,” FairSearch states.

“But in reality, Android phone makers who want to [use Android] must-have Google apps such as Maps, YouTube or Play are required to pre-load an entire suite of Google mobile services and to give them prominent default placement on the phone.

“This disadvantages other providers, and puts Google’s Android in control of consumer data on a majority of smartphones shipped today.”

The news comes despite Samsung’s recent moves to include more of its own software and service platforms on its devices, including the recent announcement of a web browser partnership with Firefox developer Mozilla.

This, in turn, has prompted denials of a rift from both Google and Samsung.

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