Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 10th Jul 2018 22:12 UTC
Android

The punishment from Margrethe Vestager, the European Union's competition chief, is expected to include a fine ranging into the billions of dollars, according to people familiar with her thinking, marking the second time in as many years that the region’s antitrust authorities have found that Google threatens corporate rivals and consumers.

At the heart of the E.U.'s looming decision are Google's policies that pressure smartphone and tablet manufacturers that use Google's Android operating system to pre-install the tech giant's own apps. In the E.U.'s eyes, device makers such as HTC and Samsung face an anti-competitive choice: Set Google Search as the default search service and offer Google's Chrome browser, or lose access to Android's popular app store. Lacking that portal, owners of Android smartphones or tablets can't easily download games or other apps - or services from Google’s competitors - offered by third-party developers.

Vestager has argued the arrangements ensure Google's continued dominance of the Internet ecosystem. As a result, her forthcoming ruling could prohibit Google from striking such app-installation deals with device makers, experts have said. Alternatively, the E.U. could force the company to give consumers an easier way to switch services, like search engines, on their phones or tablets.

If Google illegally pressured OEMs, then they ought to be punished. I'm not sure forcing changes to the default services and apps is the right way to go, though.

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Familiar
by The1stImmortal on Tue 10th Jul 2018 22:37 UTC
The1stImmortal
Member since:
2005-10-20

It's pretty much the same thing Microsoft got in trouble for before - bundling and setting IE and Windows Media Player as default apps and expecting OEMs to preserve that configuration, at the risk of losing their certification access.

As much as I dislike Apple's practices, their vertical integration means they can pretty much do as they like here unlike Google (from a competition standpoint anyway)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Familiar
by jonsmirl on Tue 10th Jul 2018 22:53 UTC in reply to "Familiar"
jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

Microsoft doesn't have AOSP sitting out there free for anyone to use. Why isn't anyone in the EU using AOSP to build a competing ecosystem like Amazon and Xiaomi have done?

Instead it appears that no one in the EU wants to do any hard work and they are going to allow phone vendors to replace the Google Play Store and take the 30% cut. Plus they will replace the advertising engines.

So Google is going to get hit with all of the development and testing work and expense, and then some EU freeloader is going to walk off with all of the revenue.

And how can she use a giant company like Samsung has an example? Xiaomi is 1/50th the size of Samsung and they built their own platform on AOSP. Heck there is even cyrongenmod which has been assembled by a bunch of unpaid hackers.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Familiar
by The1stImmortal on Tue 10th Jul 2018 23:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Familiar"
The1stImmortal Member since:
2005-10-20

Microsoft doesn't have AOSP sitting out there free for anyone to use. Why isn't anyone in the EU using AOSP to build a competing ecosystem like Amazon and Xiaomi have done?

No, but they had a dominant market position in computer operating systems at the time all that stuff happened, and were leveraging it to increase their market share in other markets

Google's effectively doing the same thing, leveraging their dominant market position in mobile OSes to increase/maintain market share in mobile browsers and in OS marketplaces.

AOSP might be sourced from the same core code but it is, from the EU's perspective, an entirely different product and has minimal to no market share (despite being compatible with Google's Android).

The price Google charges for Android is likewise irrelevant (and actually can count against them if it's considered dumping).

So yes, it is comparable and an example of illegal leveraging of a monopoly or dominant market share in other markets.

Instead it appears that no one in the EU wants to do any hard work and they are going to allow phone vendors to replace the Google Play Store and take the 30% cut. Plus they will replace the advertising engines.


It's basically just them saying the clauses in the Android licensing agreement that force the marketplace and browser are illegally anti-competitive. Unenforceable and illegal clauses in contracts are common, and if Google wants to get paid for Android they'll have to find a way to do so that doesn't involve illegal contracts.

Despite what some seem to think, companies including Google don't have a *right* to make money. They have an opportunity to do so within the law, but if the method they choose is illegal then, tough.

So Google is going to get hit with all of the development and testing work and expense, and then some EU freeloader is going to walk off with all of the revenue.

Google chooses to do that R&D. That's their problem.

And how can she use a giant company like Samsung has an example? Xiaomi is 1/50th the size of Samsung and they built their own platform on AOSP. Heck there is even cyrongenmod which has been assembled by a bunch of unpaid hackers.


Market. Share.

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Familiar
by jonsmirl on Tue 10th Jul 2018 23:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Familiar"
jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

How can you complain about Google market share in the EU when no one is even trying to compete with them? AOSP is sitting there, get some EU people together and try to compete. Why are you assuming you will fail without even trying? And I love the EU's determination that Apple is not a competitor.

Consider the outcome from doing this, you are going to get phones jammed to the gills with bloatware sticking ads in your face. And of course the phone vendors will make all of this uninstallable. Then all your apps will quit working and absolutely no one will care about fixing them.

Like the brilliant Google shopping decision. That brilliant decision has ensured that ten years from now most EU retailers will be dead and you will be buying everything from Amazon. Can't you see that Google was helping EU retailers?

Tell the truth, the EU wants money and they are stealing it from US tech companies. If this continues it is going to trigger retaliation in the US against EU companies. The US is fully capable of creating silly reasons for multi-billion dollar fines too.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Familiar
by The1stImmortal on Wed 11th Jul 2018 01:22 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Familiar"
The1stImmortal Member since:
2005-10-20

How can you complain about Google market share in the EU when no one is even trying to compete with them? AOSP is sitting there, get some EU people together and try to compete. Why are you assuming you will fail without even trying? And I love the EU's determination that Apple is not a competitor.

Obviously people are trying to compete with them.
And I'm not complaining about their dominance per se. The problem comes when they leverage that dominance to affect other markets. That's not allowed.

Consider the outcome from doing this, you are going to get phones jammed to the gills with bloatware sticking ads in your face. And of course the phone vendors will make all of this uninstallable. Then all your apps will quit working and absolutely no one will care about fixing them.


Not necessarily. That's one possible outcome sure. However, it's more likely there'll be a spate of alternative setups and then everything will go back to how it is now, because they'll be using essentially the same OS builds as outside the EU.

And lets face it - phones, like PCs, often are in this state anyway.

Also, you already can't "uninstall" most of the core Google Apps, (though you can disable them in most cases)

Like the brilliant Google shopping decision. That brilliant decision has ensured that ten years from now most EU retailers will be dead and you will be buying everything from Amazon. Can't you see that Google was helping EU retailers?

Tell the truth, the EU wants money and they are stealing it from US tech companies. If this continues it is going to trigger retaliation in the US against EU companies. The US is fully capable of creating silly reasons for multi-billion dollar fines too. [/q]

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Familiar
by Lennie on Wed 11th Jul 2018 10:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Familiar"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

There are alternatives, but that you aren't even aware of them shows how hard it is to get a foothold.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Familiar
by xylifyx on Wed 11th Jul 2018 14:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Familiar"
xylifyx Member since:
2008-05-03

How about Nokia and https://sailfishos.org/

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Familiar
by nicubunu on Wed 11th Jul 2018 05:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Familiar"
nicubunu Member since:
2014-01-08

AOSP might be sourced from the same core code but it is, from the EU's perspective, an entirely different product and has minimal to no market share (despite being compatible with Google's Android).


And here EU is wrong. AOSP is almost the same product and it has a large market share. That part of the market share is mostly in China, but it exists and shows is entirely possible.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Familiar
by The1stImmortal on Wed 11th Jul 2018 05:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Familiar"
The1stImmortal Member since:
2005-10-20

AOSP is almost the same product

"almost the same product" makes it a different product.
The *exact same code* sold and bundled differently by two different companies makes it a different product.

... and it has a large market share. That part of the market share is mostly in China, but it exists and shows is entirely possible.

Sure, but the EU is only concerned with market share in the EU. Obviously.

Don't get me wrong, I'm outside the EU and I recognize some severe systemic issues with the EU structurally and politically. But some stuff it does do well, like consumer protection.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Familiar
by nicubunu on Wed 11th Jul 2018 06:36 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Familiar"
nicubunu Member since:
2014-01-08

"almost the same product" is a polar opposite to your "entirely different product". If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

Is not Google duty to write an alternative OS in place of an European company. Seriously, when Eu wants a large project done, like Galileo or the Extreme Light Infrastructure, they pool money together and have it done. Similarly, they could make a policy for buyng mobile OSes for some departments (military, intelligence) from EU vendors and then you'll see providers flocking to offer it.

That the Chinese can do it is a solid proof Europeans can do it if they want it.

I live inside the EU and would totally hate if affordable phones around here would default to Bing or Yandex.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Familiar
by The1stImmortal on Wed 11th Jul 2018 08:22 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Familiar"
The1stImmortal Member since:
2005-10-20

"almost the same product" is a polar opposite to your "entirely different product". If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

We're talking about different things you can buy in a given market by different sellers. In that regard AOSP is distinct from Google Android.

Is not Google duty to write an alternative OS in place of an European company. Seriously, when Eu wants a large project done, like Galileo or the Extreme Light Infrastructure, they pool money together and have it done. Similarly, they could make a policy for buyng mobile OSes for some departments (military, intelligence) from EU vendors and then you'll see providers flocking to offer it.
That the Chinese can do it is a solid proof Europeans can do it if they want it.

That's not the point. no one is saying Google has to produce another OS, nor anyone else.
They are not allowed to use a dominant market position to gain dominance in other markets. That's what this is about. Anti-competitive behaviour.

I live inside the EU and would totally hate if affordable phones around here would default to Bing or Yandex.

Variety is supposed to be the heart of competition. Spice of life even.
You dont have to buy those phones.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Familiar
by nicubunu on Wed 11th Jul 2018 08:56 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Familiar"
nicubunu Member since:
2014-01-08

We're talking about different things you can buy in a given market by different sellers. In that regard AOSP is distinct from Google Android.

[q]That's not the point. no one is saying Google has to produce another OS, nor anyone else.
They are not allowed to use a dominant market position to gain dominance in other markets. That's what this is about. Anti-competitive behaviour.

Google would be anti-competitive if they would not release AOSP, free to anyone to use.
If there was an open source Windows core but not bundled with Office and Explorer, I would not complain about Microsoft being monopolistic either.

[q]Variety is supposed to be the heart of competition. Spice of life even.
You dont have to buy those phones.


I can still use my old Nokia dumb phone, right?
Back when there was a solid mobile OS made here, the EU did nothing to protect it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Familiar
by zima on Tue 17th Jul 2018 23:44 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Familiar"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

when Eu wants a large project done, like Galileo

While there is a sort of overlap with Galileo, ESA is separate from the EU.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Familiar
by jonsmirl on Wed 11th Jul 2018 14:12 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Familiar"
jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

You are all confused. AOSP is the same program as Google phone and Amazon FireOS. Both Google phone and FireOS are running AOSP inside.

The code that turns AOSP into a Google phone is all installable and contained in apk files. I have many times taken generic Chinese AOSP boxes and then installed Google GMS onto them which in turn gives them the standard Google behavior.

What is going on here is that those apk files are system level apk files and for security reasons can only be installed via a USB connection and adb. There is no technical reason they couldn't exist in the app store, but if they did it would open a huge security hole. Requiring you to plug the phone into USB before allowing the install is a good security guard.

FireOS works the same way.

The EU is so messed up on this. It is not like Google killed another smart phone vendor to get where they are in the EU, the problem is that no one in the EU entered the smart phone OS market.

So the EU should fix the competition problem by creating another OS in the manner of FireOS and Google GMS. Take some of that state money and pay off European companies to get together and build a competitor. Obviously this competitor will be such a great product that all Europeans will switch to it.

Note that it is even possible for existing phones to switch to this new EU-OS. If you plug a phone into USB adb you can delete Google GMS and install EU-OS.

Or is the truth what we all believe, that the EU is just looking for ways the steal billions from US tech companies? Payback, payback, payback, ...

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Familiar
by Vistaus on Wed 11th Jul 2018 16:17 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Familiar"
Vistaus Member since:
2018-03-21

But the problem is that you cannot remove system level APK's from phones and tablets that can't be rooted, i.e. current BlackBerry's, for example. So that means you're stuck with apps you don't want. By allowing the user to remove system apps, you can easily remove everything you don't want without root.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Familiar
by jonsmirl on Wed 11th Jul 2018 21:30 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Familiar"
jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

You can remove then via USB and adb with a rooted phone. Heck you can destroy the entire OS with that setup. I am assuming here that the EU coerces the vendors into allowing rooting.

This security is in place to keep hostile actors from tampering with your apps (which they will do if allowed to). You really do want this level of security to be there. This security is not directed at keeping you from messing with your phone, it is direct at keeping other people from messing with your phone without your knowledge.

It is certainly possible to build an app that would run on a PC and then allow you to choose - Google GMS, FireOS, Xiaomi, ES-OS - and then install whichever one you wanted.

You can even write that app today if you wanted to.

Edited 2018-07-11 21:32 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Familiar
by zima on Fri 13th Jul 2018 18:37 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Familiar"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

The EU is so messed up on this. It is not like Google killed another smart phone vendor to get where they are in the EU, the problem is that no one in the EU entered the smart phone OS market.

You already forgot Symbian/Nokia?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Familiar
by unclefester on Wed 11th Jul 2018 04:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Familiar"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Xiaomi is 1/50th the size of Samsung and they built their own platform on AOSP.


Xiaomi merely reskin Android (MUIU). Some of their models use Android One.

https://www.firstpost.com/tech/news-analysis/miui-9-based-on-android...

https://www.xiaomiaustralia.com.au/products/mi-a1-global-version?var...

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Familiar
by xylifyx on Wed 11th Jul 2018 14:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Familiar"
xylifyx Member since:
2008-05-03

That you can build your own ecosystem on top of AOSP, is true. What you can't is sell those phones and Android phones at the same time.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Familiar
by jonsmirl on Wed 11th Jul 2018 21:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Familiar"
jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

I think that got twisted in the translation, I believe the intention was to say that you can't sell an Android fork and call it "Android".

Samsung is selling Tizen and Android right now.

Edited 2018-07-11 21:35 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: Familiar
by zima on Fri 13th Jul 2018 18:39 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Familiar"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Samsung is selling Tizen and Android right now.

So? Tizen is not related to AOSP...

Reply Score: 3

RE: Familiar
by shotsman on Wed 11th Jul 2018 07:06 UTC in reply to "Familiar"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

Apple do not have the majority share of the market. Android in its various guises does. That makes a difference.

Reply Score: 2

Idiot browser choice box in the EU
by jonsmirl on Tue 10th Jul 2018 22:59 UTC
jonsmirl
Member since:
2005-07-06

If they want to make another idiotic browser choice box in the EU, then the way they should do it is to require all phones to ship with only AOSP installed.

Then when you boot the phone you get prompted with a choice of "Google GMS", "FireOS", "XiaomiOS', "CyranogenMod", etc. All of those 'skin' can be installed on top of the AOSP base.

It is insane to allow EU companies to replace Google GMS piecemeal. It is utterly obvious that only two piece will get replaced -- Play Store and Ad engine. ie where all the revenue comes from.

Reply Score: 0

rtfa Member since:
2006-02-27

If they want to make another idiotic browser choice box in the EU, then the way they should do it is to require all phones to ship with only AOSP installed.

I think thats what they are saying, e.g. Samsung or blackberry starts with AOSP and then skins and adds the apps it wants and not have the Google apps as well. i.e. Unbundle the Google stuff and allow the company providing the phone to configure to its liking.
Google does seem to turning into Microsoft of old.

Reply Score: 3

jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

You can do that right now, nothing needs to change. You just described how Amazon's FireOS works. And, by the way, you can side load all of Google's stuff onto FireOS if you want to.

There is nothing stopping any EU company from going out and doing what Amazon did. They just don't want to do the hard work needed to build an alternative system on top of AOSP.

Reply Score: 2

Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

That's not what this judgment is arguing. They are arguing that it's not possible to preinstall the Play Store without also preinstalling all the other Google apps. It seems to me that's a perfectly reasonable thing for a manufacturer to want to do, and it's being prevented by licensing agreements - not engineering issues.

Edited 2018-07-11 16:58 UTC

Reply Score: 4

jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

Allowing Google GMS to be installed piecemeal is a slippery slope. There are competitors who will immediately replace the play store, search engine and advertising engine with their own versions. That effectively steals all of Google's revenues while sticking them with all of the engineering expense.

These competitors (like Microsoft) love to make a poster child out of that French location services company as an argument to allow piecemeal GMS replacement. But we all know that the instant the EU approves this Microsoft is going to payoff every EU phone vendor to move their phones over to Bing and Microsoft's ad engine.

Edited 2018-07-11 21:43 UTC

Reply Score: 0

Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

I have to reiterate, it was in the summary: this is about manufacturers wanting to keep the Play Store, not replace it.....

In other words, at least in terms of the in-app ad revenue, there is little danger.

Aside from that, your arguments in your various comments aren't consistent with each other. You think it's a slippery slope to let manufacturers remove some of Google's apps, because Google will lose customers for those apps, but if a manufacturer removes *all* of the apps as Amazon does it's somehow better for Google???

It seems you're more intent on finding reasons to accuse the EU of foul play and/or defending Google than of actually thinking the issues through logically...

My opinion: Ensure a level playing field (by getting rid of licensing lock-in) and then let the market decide. If Google's apps and services stand on their own, as I believe they do, then licensing lock-in shouldn't be needed.

Edited 2018-07-12 00:12 UTC

Reply Score: 5

jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

My position is that you need to replace the whole suite (like FireOS or cryanognmod does) and not force the replacement of pieces of it. Forcing piecemeal replacement of it is a path to complete disaster for the user experience.

No action is needed by the EU since it is already possible to replace the entire Google GMS suite. If you have an unlocked phone you can remove Google GMS and replace it with FireOS if you want right now. Locking is done by the carriers and does not involve Google.

What the EU needs to do is come up with a EU-OS equivalent to FireOS.

Reply Score: 0

v More EU Bullying
by imthefrizzlefry on Tue 10th Jul 2018 23:05 UTC
RE: More EU Bullying
by Gargyle on Wed 11th Jul 2018 05:37 UTC in reply to "More EU Bullying"
Gargyle Member since:
2015-03-27

I am happy I don't live there.


Enjoy your crippling healthcare costs and your much higher chance to die by gunfire, then!

Reply Score: 5

RE: More EU Bullying
by dsmogor on Wed 11th Jul 2018 08:49 UTC in reply to "More EU Bullying"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

I was opposed to such statements but after Gazprom was given a free pass after much more brutal exploitation of dominant market power for much longer I've become totally disillusioned with the EC.
Those guys are on the best path to bury the european project.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Phloptical
by Phloptical on Wed 11th Jul 2018 01:45 UTC
Phloptical
Member since:
2006-10-10

The other side of the European Anti-US coin is that, the push was made because the OEM apps are complete CRAP and give Android a bad name (....looking at you, Samsung)

Reply Score: 0

AOSP
by klahjn on Wed 11th Jul 2018 03:45 UTC
klahjn
Member since:
2013-08-17

AOSP would be a great idea to be honest. Then have a site where you can install these apps if you so choose. I think that vendors should focus more on the hardware than the software tweaks they want to add, because i've not seen a vendor do any better than google has thus far.

Reply Score: 1

Bad approach
by nicubunu on Wed 11th Jul 2018 05:49 UTC
nicubunu
Member since:
2014-01-08

EU has a good intention here, to make sure there is a competitive market, but their solution is a bad one: instead of punishing Google they would better offer incentive to local companies developing alternatives.
There is no application store based in the EU, there is no good search engine based in the EU... phone makers and users would be switched to alternative solutions made in Russia, China or also in the USA.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Bad approach
by jonsmirl on Wed 11th Jul 2018 13:51 UTC in reply to "Bad approach"
jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

That's the root of the problem, no one in the EU is even trying very hard to compete.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Bad approach
by xylifyx on Fri 13th Jul 2018 07:17 UTC in reply to "Bad approach"
xylifyx Member since:
2008-05-03

There is no application store based in the EU


One of the reasons for that is that the Android OEM agreements make sure you can't sell AOSP based phones.

In smaller countries it is much easier to gain a monopoly than in the US. That is perhaps why Europe is stricter on this.

Reply Score: 3

v Stop selling Android in EU
by supergear on Wed 11th Jul 2018 05:52 UTC
RE: Stop selling Android in EU
by shotsman on Wed 11th Jul 2018 07:08 UTC in reply to "Stop selling Android in EU"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

So Google sells Android in the EU?
I'm sure that will be news to an awful lot of people.

Reply Score: 3

Google Apps
by daddio on Wed 11th Jul 2018 06:45 UTC
daddio
Member since:
2007-07-14

I like most of the Google apps, but it sucks to be stuck with them.
I'd be happy if I could just remove the ones I don't want.
Not just Google apps either, I should be able to remove any app the OEM has preinstalled.

Reply Score: 3

v RE: Google Apps
by jonsmirl on Wed 11th Jul 2018 13:56 UTC in reply to "Google Apps"
RE[2]: Google Apps
by Vistaus on Wed 11th Jul 2018 16:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Google Apps"
Vistaus Member since:
2018-03-21

They could make it so that only users are allowed to swap out parts, not OEM's.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Google Apps
by protomank on Wed 11th Jul 2018 14:15 UTC in reply to "Google Apps"
protomank Member since:
2006-08-03

Totally agreed. If EU really wants to create competitions, it should make mandatory that you can replace any non-essential (as in the phone would brick) software pre-installed. For all manufacturers, including Apple.

When I had a Samsung phone, when I installed an alternative rom, the phone went really faster, just because I was able to remove all pre-installed junk.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Google Apps
by Moochman on Wed 11th Jul 2018 17:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Google Apps"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm pretty sure it's already possible to disable the Samsung junkware without installing a whole new ROM.

Reply Score: 2

HTC?
by Vistaus on Wed 11th Jul 2018 16:09 UTC
Vistaus
Member since:
2018-03-21

But but... I thought HTC phones now ship with Alexa, so they are already violating Google's rules by not making Google Assistant the default, right? (if the above article is true and Google really enforces this)

Reply Score: 1

RE: HTC?
by jonsmirl on Wed 11th Jul 2018 21:52 UTC in reply to "HTC?"
jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

I think the article is off - Google prevents you from making an Android fork and calling it "Android".

Nothing stops a vendor from shipping multiple apps that do the same thing. Look at a Samsung phone, there's two of everything there - one from Samsung and one from Google.

So it is fine to ship with a phone with Alexa support as long as they don't remove the Google voice support. This has to do with the trademark on Android. Google controls what that trademark means, and it means that "OK google" will be supported in your phone. Of course you can go into settings and turn it off.

But if the vendor removed "Ok google" and only shipped Alexa under the Google trademark rules they could not call it an Android phone anymore.

And that make perfect sense. Android is branding and branding implies a certain set of services will be available.

Reply Score: 0

Comment by kurkosdr
by kurkosdr on Wed 11th Jul 2018 17:11 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

The definition of anticompetitive behaviour is a company abusing their dominance in a certain area (say mobile OSes) to achieve dominance in another area (say online services).

Nerds can pretend that Play Services is not part of the Android OS, but it is.

Play Services are so deeply woven into any modern Android version that even stuff like location won't work for many third-party apps (say Citymapper), because any sufficiently advanced geolocation app relies on Google's online services for location.

I once ordered an HTC One Max from China which had the Play Services location provider replaced by a certain AutoNavi location provider, and literally nothing location-related worked. Same for payment APIs (though I don't use them).

Edited 2018-07-11 17:19 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by kurkosdr
by jonsmirl on Wed 11th Jul 2018 21:56 UTC in reply to "Comment by kurkosdr"
jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

And now you have first hand experience with what a disaster it will be if everyone can replace random pieces of Google GMS. Everything is going to break.

The solution here is to do what Amazon did - make a competitor to Google GMS. You can do that today with no need for the EU to get involved.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by kurkosdr
by Moochman on Thu 12th Jul 2018 00:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kurkosdr"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

If everything were to break then the manufacturers would just have to deal with it. But it won't, the proof is in the fact that it's possible to sideload the Play Store on Amazon devices, without installing any other Google apps.

This is a case about licensing lock-in, not technical issues.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by kurkosdr
by jonsmirl on Thu 12th Jul 2018 12:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kurkosdr"
jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

Nothing is stopping you right now from loading two of everything. Look at a Samsung phone, it ships from the factory with two of everything.

The problem is in forcing Google to allow subsystems to be replaced (not a second version in parallel). As you discovered, replacement is going to be a compatibility disaster.

Edited 2018-07-12 12:41 UTC

Reply Score: 1