The European Commission has informed Google of its preliminary view that the company has, in breach of EU antitrust rules, abused its dominant position by imposing restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators.
The commission’s preliminary view is that Google has implemented a strategy on mobile devices to preserve and strengthen its dominance in general Internet search. In today’s Statement of Objections, the commission alleges that Google has breached EU antitrust rules by:
- requiring manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and Google’s Chrome browser and requiring them to set Google Search as default search service on their devices, as a condition to license certain Google proprietary apps;
- preventing manufacturers from selling smart mobile devices running on competing operating systems based on the Android open source code;
- giving financial incentives to manufacturers and mobile network operators on condition that they exclusively pre-install Google Search on their devices.
The commission believes that these business practices may lead to a further consolidation of the dominant position of Google Search in general Internet search services. It is also concerned that these practices affect the ability of competing mobile browsers to compete with Google Chrome and that they hinder the development of operating systems based on the Android open source code and the opportunities they would offer for the development of new apps and services.