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Google may have to make major changes to Android
By Thom Holwerda on 2018-07-10 22:12:33

The punishment from Margrethe Vestager, the European Union's competition chief, is expected to include a fine ranging into the billions of dollars, according to people familiar with her thinking, marking the second time in as many years that the region’s antitrust authorities have found that Google threatens corporate rivals and consumers.

At the heart of the E.U.'s looming decision are Google's policies that pressure smartphone and tablet manufacturers that use Google's Android operating system to pre-install the tech giant's own apps. In the E.U.'s eyes, device makers such as HTC and Samsung face an anti-competitive choice: Set Google Search as the default search service and offer Google's Chrome browser, or lose access to Android's popular app store. Lacking that portal, owners of Android smartphones or tablets can't easily download games or other apps - or services from Google’s competitors - offered by third-party developers.

Vestager has argued the arrangements ensure Google's continued dominance of the Internet ecosystem. As a result, her forthcoming ruling could prohibit Google from striking such app-installation deals with device makers, experts have said. Alternatively, the E.U. could force the company to give consumers an easier way to switch services, like search engines, on their phones or tablets.

If Google illegally pressured OEMs, then they ought to be punished. I'm not sure forcing changes to the default services and apps is the right way to go, though.

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Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-20 -- 21-30 -- 31-40 -- 41-50
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RE[4]: Familiar
By The1stImmortal on 2018-07-11 05:28:06
> AOSP is almost the same product
"almost the same product" makes it a different product.
The *exact same code* sold and bundled differently by two different companies makes it a different product.

> ... and it has a large market share. That part of the market share is mostly in China, but it exists and shows is entirely possible.
Sure, but the EU is only concerned with market share in the EU. Obviously.

Don't get me wrong, I'm outside the EU and I recognize some severe systemic issues with the EU structurally and politically. But some stuff it does do well, like consumer protection.
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RE: More EU Bullying
By Gargyle on 2018-07-11 05:37:12
> I am happy I don't live there.

Enjoy your crippling healthcare costs and your much higher chance to die by gunfire, then!
Permalink - Score: 5
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Bad approach
By nicubunu on 2018-07-11 05:49:09
EU has a good intention here, to make sure there is a competitive market, but their solution is a bad one: instead of punishing Google they would better offer incentive to local companies developing alternatives.
There is no application store based in the EU, there is no good search engine based in the EU... phone makers and users would be switched to alternative solutions made in Russia, China or also in the USA.
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RE[5]: Familiar
By nicubunu on 2018-07-11 06:36:13
"almost the same product" is a polar opposite to your "entirely different product". If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

Is not Google duty to write an alternative OS in place of an European company. Seriously, when Eu wants a large project done, like Galileo or the Extreme Light Infrastructure, they pool money together and have it done. Similarly, they could make a policy for buyng mobile OSes for some departments (military, intelligence) from EU vendors and then you'll see providers flocking to offer it.

That the Chinese can do it is a solid proof Europeans can do it if they want it.

I live inside the EU and would totally hate if affordable phones around here would default to Bing or Yandex.
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Google Apps
By daddio on 2018-07-11 06:45:57
I like most of the Google apps, but it sucks to be stuck with them.
I'd be happy if I could just remove the ones I don't want.
Not just Google apps either, I should be able to remove any app the OEM has preinstalled.
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RE: Familiar
By shotsman on 2018-07-11 07:06:35
Apple do not have the majority share of the market. Android in its various guises does. That makes a difference.
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RE: Stop selling Android in EU
By shotsman on 2018-07-11 07:08:41
So Google sells Android in the EU?
I'm sure that will be news to an awful lot of people.
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RE[6]: Familiar
By The1stImmortal on 2018-07-11 08:22:14
> "almost the same product" is a polar opposite to your "entirely different product". If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.
We're talking about different things you can buy in a given market by different sellers. In that regard AOSP is distinct from Google Android.

> Is not Google duty to write an alternative OS in place of an European company. Seriously, when Eu wants a large project done, like Galileo or the Extreme Light Infrastructure, they pool money together and have it done. Similarly, they could make a policy for buyng mobile OSes for some departments (military, intelligence) from EU vendors and then you'll see providers flocking to offer it.
That the Chinese can do it is a solid proof Europeans can do it if they want it.

That's not the point. no one is saying Google has to produce another OS, nor anyone else.
They are not allowed to use a dominant market position to gain dominance in other markets. That's what this is about. Anti-competitive behaviour.

> I live inside the EU and would totally hate if affordable phones around here would default to Bing or Yandex.
Variety is supposed to be the heart of competition. Spice of life even.
You dont have to buy those phones.
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RE: More EU Bullying
By dsmogor on 2018-07-11 08:49:30
I was opposed to such statements but after Gazprom was given a free pass after much more brutal exploitation of dominant market power for much longer I've become totally disillusioned with the EC.
Those guys are on the best path to bury the european project.
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RE[7]: Familiar
By nicubunu on 2018-07-11 08:56:59
> We're talking about different things you can buy in a given market by different sellers. In that regard AOSP is distinct from Google Android.

> That's not the point. no one is saying Google has to produce another OS, nor anyone else.
They are not allowed to use a dominant market position to gain dominance in other markets. That's what this is about. Anti-competitive behaviour.

Google would be anti-competitive if they would not release AOSP, free to anyone to use.
If there was an open source Windows core but not bundled with Office and Explorer, I would not complain about Microsoft being monopolistic either.

> Variety is supposed to be the heart of competition. Spice of life even.
You dont have to buy those phones.


I can still use my old Nokia dumb phone, right?
Back when there was a solid mobile OS made here, the EU did nothing to protect it.
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