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Google faces new European anti-trust complaint over mobile apps

Microsoft, Nokia and others have accused Google of anti-competitive practices in the licensing terms for its smartphone and tablet apps, reports the NY Times.

A complaint filed collectively to European anti-trust regulators says that Google’s conditions for including its apps on a mobile device amount to “a deceptive way to build advantages for key Google apps in 70 percent of the smartphones shipped today.” The complaint appears to be centred on an requirement to give prominence to any Google apps shipped with a device …

For example, phone makers that agree to use Android — and that also want Google applications like YouTube — face contractual requirements to place those applications and other Google-branded applications in prominent positions on the mobile device’s desktop, said Thomas Vinje, the lead lawyer for Fairsearch Europe, representing a group of Google’s competitors.

The new complaint follows the ongoing EU anti-trust investigation into alleged anti-competitive behaviour by Google in respect of its search services, which began in 2010. The EU is unlikely to make any substantive response to the latest complaint until it has had time to examine it in detail.

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