Android put in the naughty corner again – this time in Turkey

Google has found itself in a bit of bother once again after Android has been called into question over antitrust concerns in Turkey, after a complaint from Yandex.

According to The New York Times, regulatory authorities in Turkey have opened an investigation to understand whether the operating system has broken the country’s antitrust rules. Lawyers at Google’s HQ must have a template document to use by now, as Turkey is only the latest in a string of countries to have found some issue with the software.

Aside from Turkey, Android has faced fire from India and Russia, with the later ruling it broke anti-trust rules, as well as investigations in the US and Canada. Perhaps one of the most concerning is the case with the European Commission, which investigated whether the company broke the rules in three separate circumstances:

  • Abusing the dominance of its Android mobile operating system by requiring manufacturers of devices to pre-install Google’s services
  • Favouring its own comparison shopping service in its general search results
  • Restricting third-party websites from displaying search advertisements from Google’s competitors through its ‘AdSense for Search’ platform

The initial complaint from Yandex, a Russian search engine, was made last year, though Turkish regulators decided against an investigation at the time. There hasn’t been a reason given as to why it has changed its mind, though the investigation will focus on whether Google’s use of Android to promote its own services is in line with regulations.

The complaint itself is a similar one which has been heard around the world; Google is apparently coercing smartphone manufacturers to use its digital services over competitors if they want to use the latest version of Android. Google has continually argued its own services do not prevent the use of others, and it looks as though it is taking the same position here.

How effective this argument will be in Turkey remains to be seen, as Google does not have a glowing relationship with the country. YouTube has been shut down numerous times over recent years by the country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after rivals broadcast messages over the platform speaking out against him.

Perhaps it won’t matter how good the Google legal team is as it would seem they don’t do much else aside from argue antitrust cases; surely they must be well practiced by now?

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