Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)(NASDAQ:GOOGL) latest tussle with the European regulators could be concerned with the deals it entered with the Smartphone and tablet manufacturers using its Android software. According to Reuters, European commission is keen to know about the Google Inc’s agreement alongside any condition that requires manufacturers to preload Google Inc’s apps and services on their device.
Google faces one after another
Commission wants to ensure that that Google is not exploiting the large market share of android for benefiting its own services, according to the report.
The investigation marks the second major one by the European Union into Google business practices. The first one probed, if the company is giving unfair importance to its own services in its search engine results. Google is still negotiating to avoid a full court case, but nothing has come out yet. This investigation was launched in 2010, after complaints from rivals including Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).
Google’s favoring own services has been widely criticized by arch rivals, and the decision is expected to be taken in September, this year. Another investigation focusing on the Android could be started, when the first one gets over, says the report.
If European commission starts a probe into the Android case, it would be a new problem for Google. In a letter sent to colleagues in June, current antitrust commissioner Joaquin Almunia has already expressed his intention to probe the internet giant beyond search.
Two music labels, Win and Impala have, also, registered a complaint against Google over its approach to licensing music from their members for YouTube’s soon to be launched paid subscription service.
Not to forget, the controversy and debate sparked by the so-called “right to be forgotten” with Google executives Larry Page and Eric Schmidt publicly criticizing it.
Android market share questionable
Research firm Strategy Analytics estimates that 85% of the smartphone, shipped in the second-quarter of 2014, are Android based, compared to 12% for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and 2.7% for Microsoft’s Windows Phone. Android’s market share of smartphones in use has been the subject of discussion lately. Google has stated that there are 1 billion monthly active Android users, an increase from 538 million in mid -2013.
Industry analyst Benedict Evans has used the figures to calculate that the average Android device has a shorter lifespan compared to the one running iOS. So, Android’s “true” market share of devices in use could be actually lower than the new shipments.