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Google's Android platform under EU anti-trust watchdog scanner

Company is already under investigation of European Commission for alleged anti-competitive behaviour in the search engine market

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

European anti-trust regulator is looking at whether Internet major Google's popular smartphone platform Android is violating fair competition norms.

Google is already under investigation of European Commission for alleged anti-competitive behaviour in the search engine market.

Regarding the Android issue, European Commission Vice President Joaquin Almunia said the case is at an early stage and a decision on launching a formal investigation is yet to be taken.

"We have not yet formalised the concerns. We are looking at the way the Android ecosystem deals with different elements that can be considered as anti-competitive rules," Almunia told PTI here.

Android is one of the widely used smartphone operating platforms.

Going by estimates from global research firm Gartner, Android accounted for more than 80% share in the smartphone operating system market during the third quarter of 2013.

The competition division of the European Commission -- the executive arm of European Union (EU) -- is looking into the case. EU is a grouping of around 28 countries.

Meanwhile, consultation process is progressing with regard to the Commission's probe into allegations of Google indulging in anti-competitive ways in the Internet search engine market.

"It is on-going and we are at the end of second round of consultations," Almunia told reporters.

With respect to this case, the Commission is expected to take a final view in the coming months after taking into consideration the outcome of the consultation process, views and responses from stakeholders and Google, he added.

"It is a very difficult investigation because this is the first time that from an anti-trust point of view we are dealing with search engine sector...," he said.

India's Competition Commission is also probing alleged unfair practices by Google in the Internet search engine market.

Following a complaint against Google, which dominates the Internet search space, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) had started investigations in August last year.

First Published: Fri, November 22 2013. 16:32 IST