European commish considers probing Android, again

Companies asked to prepare docs to send to Google: reports

The European Union has taken early steps towards opening an antitrust investigation into the Android operating system.

According to Bloomberg, Google's opponents have been asked to prepare redacted versions of their complaints with business secrets removed, so the documents can be shown to Google.

The spirits tell Bloomberg this would be a necessary step before an antitrust probe begins: the same process took place in 2015 before EU regulators launched their investigation into Mountain View's shopping search service.

Deutsche Telekom may well be one of the companies the European Commission called, since in October 2015, the German telco launched a complaint over whether Android app bundling disadvantaged European competitors.

Last June, privacy app maker Disconnect went public with its complaint, that its VPN app was pulled from Google's Play code bazaar because it blocked advertising and tracking.

In April last year, Reuters turned up a list of 19 companies whose complaints are behind a separate investigation into Google's search.

The EU's antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager has been pursuing the investigation into Google's search operation for more than five years. Last year, the European Commission inched the case forward by quizzing Google's rivals to try and find proof not only that its shopping search penalised rivals, but that it was indulging in content scraping, wrapping advertising partners in exclusive contracts, and restricting advertisers' ability to use competing providers. ®

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