Google hit with new antitrust complaint in Europe, officials confirm

The ban would only affect bandwidth between ISPs and consumers

Google has been hit with yet another antitrust complaint in Europe, this time for alleged anticompetitive behavior in the app market, the European Union's top competition authority confirmed Tuesday.

The formal complaint was filed by Aptoide, a Portuguese startup in the apps sector, according to officials at EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia's office.

Aptoide runs an independent apps store for Android smartphones. It claims that Google is leveraging its dominant position in the Android market to control the market for Android apps.

"For no reason, Google regularly suspends Aptoide from appearing on Google Play thereby depriving the start-up of accessing consumers and vice versa," Aptoide said in a statement released Tuesday.

Any developer who uses the name Aptoide in their product name is automatically blocked from Google Play Store, said Paulo Trezentos, CEO of Aptoide, in an interview Tuesday. Aptoide distributes over 200,000 different apps independently of Google Play through a network of 112,000 independent stores.

While the Android OS is in principle open source, all the Google-branded apps elements are closed source, including Google Play.

Trezentos said that he was confident that other app stores would join the complaint against Google, in particular Yandex, the Russian search engine. He added that Amazon was not among those that had been in talks with Aptoide prior to the complaint.

Google is already the subject of other EU antitrust complaints. The European Commission, which carries out antitrust investigations, will deal with each complaint separately.

One of the other complaints, filed last year by major companies such as Microsoft and Oracle, alleges that Google packages apps such as Maps and YouTube in a way that disadvantages other providers, and puts Google in control of consumer data on a majority of smartphones.

This story, "Google hit with new antitrust complaint in Europe, officials confirm" was originally published by Computerworld.


Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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