European could launch yet another probe into Google over Android

European regulators are ready to launch yet another probe into Google that will try to ascertain whether it is using its monstrous 80 per cent share of the European mobile market to abuse its position on the continent. Two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters that the arrival of a new antitrust chief in November should usher in the new case that follows a recently closed case that looked at Google’s abuse of its dominant position in the search market. It’s believed that this case is a lot more detailed than the previous one with the EC sending out questionnaires to companies that have worked with the firm in the past on mobile matters.

European regulators are preparing what could be a stern challenge to Google Inc’s mobile software business in the coming months after a nearly four-year investigation into the company’s Web search practices left rivals and European politicians dissatisfied. Two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said that with a new antitrust chief taking over in November, European regulators are laying the groundwork for a case centered on whether Google abuses the 80 percent market share of its Android mobile operating system to promote services from maps to search. The Commission has stepped up inquiries just in recent weeks, sending companies questionnaires that seek far more details than previous queries on the matter in 2011 and 2013. In one questionnaire seen by Reuters, respondents were asked whether there was a requirement set by Google, written or unwritten, that they not pre-install apps, products or services on mobile devices that compete with Google software like its search engine, app store and maps. Companies must provide emails, faxes, letters, notes from phone calls and meetings, and presentations stretching as far back as 2007 related to such deals with Google, suggesting the European Commission wants to know if Google’s behavior has been long-term. Respondents have been given until early September to reply to more than 40 questions.

By Lorie Wimble

Lorie is the "Liberal Voice" of Conservative Haven, a political blog, and has 2 astounding children. Find her on Google+ and Twitter.

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