BRUSSELS, April 9 Companies including Microsoft
and Nokia have stepped up pressure on EU
antitrust regulators to take action against Google,
accusing it of blocking competition in mobile telephony.
The complaint comes as Google attempts to resolve a two-year
long investigation by the European Commission into its internet
search practices and avert a possible fine that could hit $5
billion, or 10 percent of its 2012 revenue.
More than a dozen companies have voiced their grievances
about Google's search practices to the Commission.
The investigation's initial focus was on its desktop search
engine, but European Union Competition Commissioner Joaquin
Almunia said last year he had received complaints about Google's
Android, the world's most popular operating system for
Almunia has said he aims to reach a settlement with Google
in the latter half of the year. The complainants, however, are
frustrated with the pace of his investigation.
In a complaint made public on Tuesday by their lobbying
group FairSearch, Google's rivals accused the company of using
Android to divert traffic to its search engine.
FairSearch's other members include world No. 3 software
maker Oracle, online travel sites Expedia and
TripAdvisor, French shopping comparison site Twenga, British
price comparison site Foundem and U.S.-based adMarketplace.
"Google is using its Android mobile operating system as a
'Trojan Horse' to deceive partners, monopolise the mobile
marketplace, and control consumer data," FairSearch's lawyer
Thomas Vinje said in a statement.
"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."
The Commission declined to comment.
Google spokesman Al Verney said the company continued to
work cooperatively with the regulator.
Google won a major victory in the United States in January
when the Federal Trade Commission ended an investigation without
any significant action against the company.