Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 9th Apr 2013 10:34 UTC
Legal After Microsoft's extortion racket has failed to stop Android, and after Oracle's crazy baseless lawsuit failed to stop Android, and after Nokia adopting Windows Phone failed to stop Android, Microsoft, Nokia, and Oracle are now grasping the next straw in their fruitless efforts to stop Android: they've filed an antitrust complaint with the EU, claiming Google unfairly bundles applications with Android.
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Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

lemur2,

"They already do so. Vendors can already bundle whatever they please."

I am taking the information at face value. If it's true that google's forcing vendors to bundle, then there may be an antitrust case. If it's untrue, then there isn't. As MacTO indicated earlier, the contract between google and android vendors is information we are not exactly privy to. Keep in mind this complaint was filed in Europe, the contracts may be jurisdiction and/or vendor specific. If you have more information than what's been disclosed already, it'd be helpful if you could post a link to it. Thanks.



"My Android tablet shipped with Android, with the Google Play store installed, but left Google Maps off."

That's interesting, however I'm not sure the complaint included the tablet market since the smartphone market was explicitly mentioned. Do you have a similar example of an android phone model?

Edited 2013-04-10 03:25 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

""My Android tablet shipped with Android, with the Google Play store installed, but left Google Maps off."


That's interesting, however I'm not sure the complaint included the tablet market since the smartphone market was explicitly mentioned. Do you have a similar example of an android phone model?
"

I have only two Android devices, and I am familiar with only one other Android device. Two of these three devices are phones, the other is a tablet. They each shipped with different versions of Android, and each shipped with a different set of apps by default. By no means were all of the apps Google's, and some of the more common Google apps for Android were omitted from each device. The Android YouTube app, for example, shipped only on the tablet, yet Google Maps was missing only from the tablet. I think GMail was the only Google app which shipped on all three devices.

That is the extent of personal anecdotes I am able to tell you about it, I'm afraid.

Here is an opinion to consider, perhaps:
http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20130409095055445

If these complaints were true, Facebook couldn't do Facebook Home. Really. Think about it. The Guardian calls its article about Facebook Home, "Lockpicking Android for Fun and Profit"

Facebook has done that, wrapping a shell around Android and using it in a way Google probably doesn't much like but which is perfectly allowable. There isn't a company in the world that doesn't try to protect its brand, by some measure of quality control and standards to follow if you wish to align yourself with the company, but the point is, you can avoid all that if you choose not to align yourself with it, take the code, and use it to suit your own purposes, as both Amazon and Facebook have done.

Here's the thing I'd like to highlight: Microsoft and Nokia are both free to use the free Android code and wrap a shell around it and compete that way too. Presto. No antitrust nonsense about not being able to compete with free, as Fairsearch, like the SCO Group before it, claims:

According to FairSearch, the "below-cost" policy "makes it difficult for other providers of operating systems to recoup investments in competing with Google’s dominant mobile platform".

They *can* compete with free. Just take the free code and make it look like your brand and make it do what you want it to do. There is absolutely nothing stopping them from doing that, except pride and stubborness. Nokia was already selling phones based on free code, and it *chose* to use Windows instead and is tanking the company.


Edited 2013-04-10 04:56 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

lemur2,

"They *can* compete with free. Just take the free code and make it look like your brand and make it do what you want it to do."

Google might make it easy for competitors to rebrand and sell android, but I don't think that view of competition would gel with the spirit of antitrust law - switching to android makes google stronger. Consider that if google charged for android's true & non-monopoly-subsidized costs, then competing operating systems would begin to look more attractive to vendors, some of whom would begin defecting from android in favor of alternatives. In other words, more competition, which in theory could be better for consumers. I'm not really sure how I feel about predatory pricing since, even after careful consideration, it seems to me that it is a painstakingly difficult line to draw.

Edited 2013-04-10 06:02 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4