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February 7, 2017

BT sides with Google in EU Android antitrust case

The telecom giant says Google’s control over the operating platform is a positive.

By CBR Staff Writer

British multinational telecommunications services company BT has lent its support to Google in its fight against the European Commission in an Android antitrust case.

In November last year, Google rejected the Commission’s claims that the Android operating system is anti-competitive.

The EU claims that Google reduces competition by coercing smartphone makers to pre-install its search function and browser in order to gain access to its other apps on Android.

A BT spokesman was quoted by Reuters as saying: “We can confirm that our legal team has written to the European Commission regarding their investigation.

“We told them BT is free to pre-install its own or third party apps on devices alongside pre-loaded Google apps.”

However, it is not clear why BT has chosen to back Google publicly in the case, in which Google was also accused of preventing manufacturers getting access to its services if modified Android code.

BT said that Google’s control over the Android platform is a positive.android

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The spokesman said: “We also said that, as an app provider, we value the ongoing stability and compatibility of operating systems, whether they are ‘open source’ or ‘closed source’.”

Google said that the Android system cautiously balances the interests of users, developers, hardware makers and mobile network operators.

Earlier, Kent Walker, Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Google, said in a blog post that Android had stimulated innovation in the smartphone market and that Android “carefully balances the interests of users, developers, hardware makers, and mobile network operators.”

The EC regulators were also investigating Google for allegedly systematically favouring its comparison shopping service in its search result pages. The charges accused Google of misuse of its dominant position in online search advertising.

The Commission said the company artificially blocked the possibility of third party websites to display search advertisements from its rivals.

It also claims that AdSense for Search prevents competitors from succeeding in the online advertising arena.

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