Google being probed by antitrust over bloatware
Vestager said, at a boring conference, that her team are closely looking into Google’s contracts with mobile makers and carriers, and it seems the main concern is that there's requirements from the internet giant that companies pre-load Google's apps on phones.
She said: "Our concern is that, by requiring phone makers and operators to pre-load a set of Google apps, rather than letting them decide for themselves which apps to load, Google might have cut off one of the main ways that new apps can reach customers."
Now, bloatware - apps that are automatically installed on smartphones, that people don't necessary want - is a big issue, especially when you can't completely delete them from your device, unless you're good at getting under the hood (which most people are most certainly not).
Samsung users will know that there's a lot of apps that clutter up their phones, which will never, ever be used, and so too with Google's pre-loaded offerings. It is very common across the board in mobileville.
In a statement to TechCrunch, a Google spokesperson said: "Anyone can use Android, with or without Google applications. Hardware manufacturers and carriers can decide how to use Android and consumers have the last word about which apps they want to use on their devices. We continue to discuss this with the European Commission."
It appears that this year-old Android probe is reaching something of a conclusion, and we could well see some findings later this week from the Commission. We might not see an end to the whole thing, rather, the probe escalating into something more serious for Google (should they be found guilty of any antiprobe issues).