Google Hit With EU Predatory Pricing Complaint Backed by Microsoft
Microsoft and a group of other competitors filed a complaint with the EU concerning Google's free Android mobile operating system.Google is now being hit on a second regulatory front in Europe as a group of competitors, including Microsoft, has filed a complaint with European authorities that argues that Google's free Android mobile operating system is illegally trying to dominate the market through deception and predatory pricing. The new complaint was filed by a group called FairSearch Europe with the European Commission, the antitrust arm of the European Union, even as the EU continues its almost two-year-long probe into Google's search practices in Europe. The group alleged in its complaint that Google is following an "anti-competitive strategy to dominate the mobile marketplace and cement its control over consumer Internet data for online advertising as usage shifts to mobile." The complaint before the EC comes as the marketplace rivalry between Google and Microsoft appears to be growing exponentially.
Just last month, reports surfaced that it was Google that had turned Microsoft in involving a recent case in which Microsoft had failed to offer a choice of Web browsers to early users of its Windows 7 computer operating system, which the company must do as part of a 2009 settlement regarding the same issue. In that case, the EU fined Microsoft $732 million. Microsoft apologized for what it called a "technical error" that led to the problem in about 28 million PCs that were using early versions of Windows 7 with Service Pack 1, and also took "full responsibility" for the issue. Under the 2009 settlement, Microsoft was required to display a Browser Choice Screen (BCS) on PCs in Europe, where Microsoft's Internet Explorer is the default browser, and while it did in some cases, it failed to do so in others.