European Union has been looking into Google’s services and products for a while now. The antitrust regulators in the region are skeptical of Google’s conduct, hinting that the company may foster anti-competition practices. To further probe into this possibility, the regulators are now talking with telecom companies offering Android handsets.
Other tech titans, such as Microsoft and Nokia, have alleged in the past that Google is trying to further its own services through Android handsets. These companies claim that Android is so steeped in Google’s own branding that it is essentially a way of diverting more traffic to Google’s own search engine.
To discern the truth of these allegations, the EU antitrust regulators are now in talks with different telecom companies who are offering Android smartphones. Through these talks, the regulators intend to gauge whether or not Google’s contract with these companies limits them in any way.
According to a questionnaire handed out to these companies, the regulators have asked them if their Android agreements with Google ‘contain clauses preventing or limiting you from launching/distributing non-Android devices.’
The regulators are also trying to see whether or not non-Google services and products can be easily offered, and accessed, on Android handsets. This would indicate how fair Google’s play is.
Google, on the other hand, has denied any allegations of misconduct and a spokesperson for the company stated, “Android is an open platform that fosters competition. Handset makers, carriers and consumers can decide how to use Android, including which applications they want to use.” In a way, Google is right in saying so, since innumerable apps from Google’s rivals are available on Google Play store and can easily be accessed by the users.