European Union Commission observed that Google is breaching the antitrust rules of the continent by abusing its dominant position. It believes that the search-giant is strategically imposing restrictions on Android hardware partners and network operators to kill the competition and innovation.
Around half the Internet traffic comes from smartphones and tablets. Off which, 80% of devices in Europe are based on Google’s Android operating system. Leveraging this situation, the search giant influences Android device manufacturers and operators to push its services over the rivals.
We all know how important Play Store (app repository) is for Android devices. To licence Google’s app store though, every manufacturer has to pre-install Google search engine and set it as default. Additionally, the mobile brands are required to pre-load Google Chrome browser on its devices. This effectively eliminates the possibility of hardware makers exploring the idea of installing rival web services and apps with open mind. This is one of the reasons why even in era of booming start-ups, no new company has made any significant progress in the web search field.
Compromising the level playing field, Google also offers financial incentives to mobile network operators in Europe to exclusively pre-install Google Search on their devices. The commission thinks that such practices ultimately harm consumers because they are not given as wide a choice as possible. It also smothers innovation.
The European Union commission has addressed its concerns to Google its parent company Alphabet. The search-giant headed by Sundar Pichai, will now have to put forth his side of the story. If found guilty, the company may have to alter some of its practises in Europe.