Google foe takes Android complaint to regulators

The Google logo adorns the entrance of Google Germany headquarters in Hamburg, Germany July 11, 2016. REUTERS/Morris Mac Matzen

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Open Internet Project, whose members include Axel Springer SPRGn.DE and Getty Images, on Tuesday accused Alphabet GOOGL.O unit Google of imposing anti-competitive curbs on Android smartphone makers, its second complaint against the U.S. tech giant.

The group, which lodged a complaint about Google’s comparison shopping service with the European Commission about three years ago, urged the EU competition authority to take action.

“Google once again, in breach of EU antitrust rules, abused its dominant position by imposing restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators, aiming to preserve and strengthen its dominance in general internet search,” OIP said in a statement.

Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso said the regulator would assess the complaint. Google has said Android boosts rather than hurts competition.

The world’s most popular internet search engine has been in the EU crosshairs since April 2016, accused of using its dominant Android mobile operating system to squeeze out rivals.

Regulators said such tactics include requiring smartphone makers to pre-install Google Search and the Google Chrome browser to get access to other Google apps.

The stakes are high for Google, which makes billions from advertising sales on Android phones through its apps such as Maps, Search and Gmail. It faces a fine up to 10 percent of its global turnover and an order to end anti-competitive practices if found guilty of breaching EU rules.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek