No prize for guessing that Microsoft & Nokia complained
It appears that the European Commission’s antitrust watchdog is now taking seriously complaints that Google has been unfairly competing with its Android mobile OS. The allegations include an accusation that Google is effectively providing Android to smartphone makers below cost. It is no surprise to hear that two of the chief complainers are Microsoft and Nokia who are both intent on promoting Windows Phone against Android (and Apple’s iOS, of course).
According to a report in the Financial Times (FT) here, the watchdog is sending out a 23-page questionnaire to handset makers and MNOs (Mobile Network Operators).
Sadly, the watchdog refused to comment on what exactly is going on so we all have to assume that it is looking for evidence that Google is genuinely indulging in unfair competition.
GoMo News is rather amused to think that Microsoft would think it ‘unfair’ for a company to give away for almost nothing software which its rivals were charging for.
This is the company which virtually killed Novell by building the software client for its rival local area network server into Windows – for free.
Who was at Novell at the time? Step forward one Eric Schmidt – former Google CEO.
So perhaps Microsoft is peeved that Schmidt is getting his own back by marginalising Microsoft’s rival mobile OS – Windows Phone 8 (WP8)?
There are also suggestions that Google is unfairly building its own online services into Android – a dig at YouTube apparently.
Well, here at GoMo News we remember having to describe a way of putting Google Search onto Windows Phone 7.5 back in 2012 (here).
However, there’s still no sign of the Chrome browser for WP7/8 yet. Wonder who’s to blame for that one?
It’s not like Microsoft doesn’t build its own services – Internet Explorer, Hotmail & Bing, into Windows Phone either.
What will stick, however, is if it can be proved that Google has been persuading handset makers not to produce a Windows Phone handset or been providing incentives to MNOs not to range WP8 handsets.
Frankly, here at GoMo News we would find it extremely hard to believe that Google needed to do anything that blatant.
It’s just that consumers like Android more than WP8, BlackBerry or iOS. OK?