Editor in Chief
- Jan 5, 2011
One of the big news stories of the morning is that the European Commission has formally charged Google with an anti-trust lawsuit. The EU contends that Google abused its Android operating system and unfairly gained market share for its services and software.
For the last four years the Commission has investigated Google for these issues. Three times Google tried to settle, but was not able to reach an amicable agreement with the EU. The Commission sent a series of objections to Google and the search giant now has 10 weeks to respond.
The primary complaint from the EU is that Google unfairly hindered access to rival applications and search results, illegally prevented manufacturers from running modified versions of the open-source Android operating system, and excessively bundled its apps with other essential services or APIs.
If Google loses this case, they will likely be faced with heavy fines and will be required to change how search results are generated or how advertising is displayed. This could negatively impact the bottom line revenue for Google.
Google replied in a separate statement by reminding that its partner agreements with mobile-phone makers are voluntary.
Google’s Hiroshi Lockheimer, VP of engineering for Android, said in a blog posting, “We understand that with success comes scrutiny. But it’s not just Google that has benefited from Android’s success. The Android model has let manufacturers compete on their unique innovations.”
Google's direct response was as follows,
Amit Singhal, senior vice president of Google Search, said that the company “strongly” disagrees with the need to issue an antitrust complaint and will make that case in response to the EU statement of objections.
On shopping, “there’s a ton of competition” such as Amazon.com Inc. and EBay Inc., Singhal said in a blog posting.