The European Commission has received an antitrust complaint, relating to concerns over the Play Store. The complaint has been made by Aptoide, a third-party app store based in Lisbon, Portugal.
There are three parts to Aptoide’s complaint, which cover app installation, the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and the Chromium open source web browser (upon which Chrome is based).
Aptoide claim that the process of installing apps sourced from outside the Play Store has been changed over time, and that it is more difficult to install apps that have not been downloaded using Google’s official store.
Another aspect to this dispute is the complaint that Google has removed elements of the AOSP. Aptoide state that these have then been bundled with Google’s own service, such as Gmail and Google Maps.
Aptoide also claim that access to third-party app stores is blocked by the Chromium web browser.
Although the allegations made by Aptoide are specific to Google and Android, many within the industry will be watching the progress of this complaint with interest.
Google is far from alone in selling digital services via a centralised app store, with the same strategy also adopted by Microsoft and Apple.