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EU Investigation of Android a “High Priority”

October 27, 2015 - Written By Tom Dawson

For some time now, Google has found themselves in the scopes of the European Union’s Commission, facing an antitrust investigation surrounding how the company handles key services. So far, the investigations have included the usual complaints of Google Shopping, Maps and Search, some of the key areas in which the European Commission feel that Google is being anticompetitive. There are bigger fish for the EU to fry however, and talking to the Wall Street Journal, Margrethe Vestager the head of Europe’s Competition Commission has elaborated on how they’re handling these complaints against Google.

Speaking about the investigation into Google Shopping Vestager says that ” We have the shopping case where we have the statement of objections, we have Google’s answer and now we’re analyzing that. It is high priority but it will take some time because it is analysis and data comparison et cetera”. She also then went on to clarify that “the one that I opened myself on Android, we also give high priority but it is a different creature”, reasoning that while the majority of users don’t question which operating system is on their smartphone, the companies and networks that sell them, do. Vestager goes on to say that these companies “are very preoccupied with the operating system. So we give that a high priority.” Google is facing an attack on multiple fronts here, across Shopping, Android, Maps and even Travel. Speaking about the individual cases, Vestager admits that ” the shopping case may have similarities when we eventually look at maps and travel and a number of other related services, because the complaints sort of tell the same story. People feel or experience that they are either being demoted, or Google preferences its own services.”

Recently, Deutsche Telekom threw their hat into the ring to add to Google’s headaches, and it would appear that Google’s monopoly on devices outside of the iPhone in Europe could be in jeopardy. It’s been well known that if partners, such as Samsung and HTC, want to use Google’s Android then they need to accept a number of agreements that push Google Services on the very front page of any launcher and of course Google is hardcoded into the launcher of every major device manufacturer now. As the investigation speeds up, we’re surely hear more from Vestager, but for now the full interview can be found down below.