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BT Publicly Supports Google In EU Antitrust Battle

Sam Pudwell joined Silicon UK as a reporter in December 2016. As well as being the resident Cloud aficionado, he covers areas such as cyber security, government IT and sports technology, with the aim of going to as many events as possible.

BT lends support to Google’s Android OS over potential fears of Apple dominance

BT has publicly voiced its support for Google’s Android platform in its ongoing anti-competition case with EU regulators, becoming the first major telecoms company to do so.

In a letter written to the European Commission (EC), BT has defended the “stability and compatibility” of the Android mobile operating system, which has been in the sights of regulators for some time due to its domination in the smartphone arena.

Although it’s not clear why BT chose to go public with its support, the move hints at fears that any move to weaken Android would hand more power over to Apple.

BT

Android antitrust

Google is accused of suffocating competition by forcing smartphone manufacturers to pre-install its mobile search and web apps, leading to competitors including Microsoft and Nokia to file a complaint with the European Commission.

The search giant was already locked in an antitrust battle with the EU over its comparison shopping service, where it was accused of abusing its dominant position within the smartphone market.

Silicon contacted BT for comment and received the following statement: “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.

“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’. This is why we welcome anti-fragmentation initiatives such as Google’s”.

In October EU regulators were reportedly planning to order Google to stop paying Android handset makers to install Google search and software on their devices, as well as readying a record €3 billion (£2.3bn) fine.

Google has, of course, rejected the charges filed against it, describing them as “wrong as a matter of fact, law, and economics”.

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