In a report by Bloomberg, it is said that the European Commission (EC) is about to file an antitrust complaint over the Android operating system. The outlet is citing “three people familiar with the probe.”
Despite this news, Bloomberg is saying that a final decision hasn’t been made yet. The Android-OEM contracts and app-install requirements have been a focal point of an ongoing investigation in Europe since last year. Not only that, the EC has been investigating Google’s payment of $1 billion to Apple just so they can remain its default search position on the iPhone’s Safari browser.
For their defense, Google has kept up that any antitrust investigation of Android is unwarranted since their OS is open-source and freely available. Even then, there is no provided access to Google Play unless OEMs are to conform to contractual requirements. These requirements include app pre-installs. The antitrust concept is that they are selling or providing one product, but making another mandatory part of the deal.
There was another complaint by Yandex, the top Russian search engine, where Russian competition authorizes ruled against Google barred pre-installed apps on Android devices. This was a condition of OEM access to Google Play. This was the same unfair competition complaint, and filed with the EC as well.
Even though the EC’s decisions can be reviews by the European courts, it has been shown that there has been considerable deference to its decisions. There’s quite a lot of money at stake in this case, billions of euros in potential fines.