EU once again has Google in its crosshairs, this time over Android

Does Google unfairly shut out its Android app competitors?

Google has not earned any points with the European Union, despite a years-long antitrust investigation into the company's search practices.

That case finally wrapped up (sort of) earlier in 2014, but now EU authorities are leveling more antitrust claims at the search company, this time regarding its control over Android apps.

The EU is concerned that Google promotes its own apps and shuts out those of competitors in its mobile operating system, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Not only that, but EU Vice President and Commissioner for Competition Joaquín Almunia said in July that he may have to revise the rules of the settlement the Union reached with Google back in February.

Survey says

The EU has reportedly sent out surveys asking companies for any proof that Google required them to only pre-install Google's own apps on Android devices, or at least not to install any apps that compete with Google's apps.

These surveys also ask whether companies ever challenged Google on certain policies, such as the search company's anti-fragmentation rules, and how Google responded.

Companies must reply to the questionnaires by Sept. 12 or face sanctions, which is unusual in these circumstances. Maybe they didn't get enough responses to their last survey.

Depending on the replies, EU regulators may begin a formal investigation in the fall, and may even roll this investigation into the previous case against Google.

Shots fired

Naturally Google has its own response.

"Anyone can use Android without Google and anyone can use Google without Android," the company said in a statement sent to the WSJ.

"Since Android's introduction, greater competition in the smartphone market has given consumers more and better choices," the statement continues. "Both the U.S. [Federal Trade Commission] and Korean Fair Trade Commission have examined Google's agreements around Android in depth and concluded that there was no cause for legal concerns."

We asked Google to send us its full statement, but a company spokesperson declined to comment further.

  • Here's everything there is to know about Android L
Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.