), Nokia (NYSE:
), Oracle (NASDAQ:
) and 14 other companies have filed a complaint against Google
) for what they claim are violations of European antitrust
The companies, calling themselves "FairSearch," according to
The Associated Press
, called on European authorities to launch an investigation into
Google and its practice of giving away its Android operating
system to mobile device companies on the condition that the U.S.
online giant's own software applications like YouTube and Google
Maps are installed and prominently displayed.
"Google is using its Android mobile operating system as a
Trojan horse to deceive partners, monopolize the mobile
marketplace, and control consumer data," said Thomas Vinje, the
group's Brussels-based lawyer.
In addition to its involvement in the European complaint,
Microsoft continues its attack against Google with an advertising
campaign, now in its fifth month, which Microsoft calls
Ads, which have appeared online, on television and in print
cast Google as company more interested in profits than the
personal privacy of its customers.
most recent ads
, Microsoft accused Google of sharing some of the personal
information it gathers about customers who have bought Android
software for their smartphones or tablets.
Greg Sullivan, Microsoft's senior manager for the Windows
Phone division said, "We think we have a better alternative that
doesn't do these kinds of nefarious things."
Microsoft's tactics could potentially backfire, according to
some analysts. While the ads may cause some consumers to question
Google's practices, they also point out the fact that Microsoft
is the underdog.
"It's always the underdog that does negative advertising like
this," said Jonathan Weber of search consulting firm LunaMetrics.
Weber has been following and commenting on Microsoft's
Microsoft's latest ads revolve around concerns that Google
doesn't inform customers that their names, email addresses and
neighborhood locations are routinely sent to the makers of apps
sold in Google's online Play store.
Google says it shares a limited amount of personal information
about customers to ensure they get better service and faster
responses. The company said the practice is allowed under its
terms of service. Critics complain that few people read the
document in its entirety.
With regard to the latest antitrust complaint by Microsoft and
others in Europe, the European Commission, the 27-nation bloc's
executive arm and antitrust authority, is not obligated to take
any action other than to reply to the complaint.
In midday trading shares of Microsoft are up 2.25 percent at
$29.24. Google is up less than one percent at $780.96.
At the time of this writing, Jim Probasco has no position in
any of the mentioned equities.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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