BRUSSELS -- Google was in the firing line again on Tuesday after a group of major companies, including Microsoft (IW 500/15) and Oracle (IW 500/38), complained to the European Commission over Google's offerings for Android-powered mobile phones.
"We are asking the Commission to move quickly and decisively to protect competition and innovation in this critical market," said Thomas Vinje, Brussels-based counsel for FairSearch, a group of businesses and organizations that also includes Nokia (IW 1000/86), Expedia and TripAdvisor.
"Failure to act will only embolden Google to repeat its desktop abuses of dominance as consumers increasingly turn to a mobile platform dominated by Google's Android operating system," Vinje said in a statement.
FairSearch said it had filed a complaint with the Commission, charging that the Internet giant wanted Android operators to use its leading applications such as Maps or YouTube.
It said Google's Android is the dominant smartphone operating system, accounting for 70% at end-2012, while it had 96% of mobile phone search advertising.
The companies grouped in FairSearch have also complained about Google in the Commission's 2010 antitrust probe of the firm that has focused on its dominance of the Internet search market.
European Countries Launch Joint Action Against Google
Last week, six European countries, including France and Britain, launched joint action against Google to try to get it to scale back new monitoring powers that watchdogs believe violate EU privacy protection rules.
The action came after the European Union's 27 member states warned Google in October not to apply the new policy and gave it four months to make changes or face legal action.
When that deadline expired in February, several European data protection agencies set up a task force to pursue coordinated action against the U.S. giant.
EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told the New York Times on Tuesday that Google was due to receive proposals this week as part of the probe into possible abuses in its search business.
Almunia did not comment on the new complaint, but said of the company generally: "What is clear in our view is the market dominance of Google. This is obvious."
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission in February said it lacked a legal basis to bring a similar case against Google, but said it had won commitments from the company to end the "most troubling" practices.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013