On Tuesday, we reported on a new complaint filed by “Fairsearch,” an anti-Google group that counts Microsoft, Oracle, Nokia, and about a dozen other Google competitors as members. In recent years, European regulators have become more aggressive at policing anticompetitive behavior in the tech sector than their American counterparts. Microsoft and its allies hope that officials will conclude that Google’s mobile OS strategy violates the EU’s competition laws. “Android phone makers who want to include must-have Google apps such as Maps, YouTube or Play are required to pre-load an entire suite of Google mobile services and to give them prominent default placement on the phone,” Fairsearch argued in a blog post announcing the complaint. Here, the group is echoing charges Microsoft itself faced more than a decade ago after it bundled Internet Explorer with Windows. But Fairsearch also makes an additional argument that should alarm anyone who benefits from free software—which is to say everyone who uses the Internet. Google’s competitors complain about the search giant’s “predatory distribution of Android at below cost.” Apparently, Fairsearch believes that it’s “predatory” for a company to gain market share by giving its software away for free. That stance would have sweeping implications for… Read full this story
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