Turkey launches antitrust investigation of Google

Turkey launches antitrust investigation of Google
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Google is now facing regulatory scrutiny in Turkey, after officials launched an antitrust investigation on the company’s Android mobile operating system on Monday.

The investigation is focused on software packaged within Android and was prompted by a complaint from Google’s Russian competitor, Yandex, reports The New York Times. The company says that Google’s software bundle in Android creates an unfair advantage against its competitors.

The Turkish Competition Authority, who is conducting the investigation, initially declined Yandex’s complaint but changed tack on Monday.

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Google’s scrutiny in Turkey is the latest in series of antitrust international probes of the American company. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company is currently facing three competition charges in Europe and was found to be in violation of antitrust laws in Russia.

The investigation opened by Turkish competition officials bears similarity to the inquiry by the European Commission regarding Google potentially abusing its dominant position with Android, which runs on 75 percent of smartphones worldwide, to unfairly gain market share.

Google has sharply rejected these claims, arguing that European regulators have not properly factored in considerations like the fragmentation of Android as it gets modified by developers and not including Apple as a competitor in their antitrust analysis of Google’s mobile operating system.

“Open-source platforms are fragile,” a Google senior vice president wrote in November. “They survive and grow by balancing the needs of all participants, including users and developers. The Commission’s approach would upset this balance, and send an unintended signal favouring closed over open platforms.”

Google did not immediately return The Hill’s request for comment on Monday.