By Vamien McKalin | Apr 10, 2013 11:59 AM EDT
Google is in trouble again, as the European Union received an anti-trust complaint about Android — one that could potentially break Android's hold on the market if the EU takes decisive action.
The complaint was sent out by FairSearch Europe, a group of businesses and organizations that are all about promoting a level playing field when it comes to competition in mobile and online search. FairSearch consists of some well-known companies, including Microsoft, Nokia, Oracle, TripAdvisor, Kayak and Hotwire.
According to the FairSearch complaint, Google is using "deceptive conduct" to keep competition at bay in the mobile search market. The statement goes on to add that Google controls 96 percent of the mobile search market; this is due to Android having a massive 70 percent control of the smartphone market. FairSearch also said Google forced phone makers to add its suit of applications on devices, and such a move gives Android a huge control over consumer data, which in turn puts the competition at a disadvantage.
"Google is using its Android mobile operating system as a 'Trojan Horse' to deceive partners, monopolize the mobile marketplace, and control consumer data," said Thomas Vinje on behalf of the FairSearch coalition to the New York Times. "We are asking the Commission to move quickly and decisively to protect competition and innovation in this critical market. Failure to act will only embolden Google to repeat its desktop abuses of dominance as consumers increasingly turn to a mobile platform dominated by Google's Android operating system."
The European Union is already investigating Google for its unfair practices in the desktop search market, and another anti-trust investigation would surely put Google at a disadvantage — one that could see the competition finally getting what it wants.
Google would want the EU to drop the case entirely, but that might not happen, as it appears FairSearch might truly have a case here.
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