EU confirms antitrust probe into Android apps, News Corp. attacks Google news scraping

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  • Reply 41 of 73
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,246member
    auxio said:
    lkrupp said:
    That being said I think it's incredibly stupid of the EU to essentially require devices to be shipped bare of all apps. That's about as consumer unfriendly as it gets.
    They wouldn't be stripped bare -- they'd simply have other companies providing some of the core apps rather than being forced to use Google's.
    That can already be done!.  Look at all of China.  Google really doesn't exist in China.  It's all forked versions of Android with their own app stores! 

    Look at Amazon, same thing.  There's no Google, it's their own forked version of Android with Amazon's own services and app store!!! 

    There is nothing stopping a single company from doing the exact same thing.  I really don't see what the problem is.   He'll these company could even make Windows phones.  Why not?  There is nothing stopping someone else to grab OS sales and Android from dropping down from being #1.  
    singularity
  • Reply 42 of 73
    auxio said:
    Where in your example does Google "force" you to use Android?
    Where in your example are you talking about the real world where companies can be competitive without it?
    The crux of your argument is that Google is "forcing" manufacturers to use its app. You've failed to show how they're doing so. Your only argument is that it's hard to sell phones without Android. Yet, it still doesn't reason from that that you're forced to use it.
    singularity
  • Reply 43 of 73
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,487member

    auxio said:
    Microsoft in the PC industry circa 1998.  Tell me who was competing with them at that time?
    1) The Microsoft case in 1998 was not about lack of competition. It was about the nonsensical notion of "tying" agreements.
    Isn't that exactly what Google is doing with Android certification?

    2) 92% of PCs shipped today have Windows installed on it. Why go back to 1998 and not just claim Microsoft is a "monopoly" today?
    Because the mobile device industry changed everything.  PCs aren't the only option for personal computing now (like they were in the 1990s).

    ericthehalfbee
  • Reply 44 of 73
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,397member
    sog35 said:
    lkrupp said:
    Apple preloads its own apps too and they cannot be deleted. What's the difference here? The same thing could apply to desktop PCs and Tablets that have preinstalled software through marketing agreements. That being said I think it's incredibly stupid of the EU to essentially require devices to be shipped bare of all apps. That's about as consumer unfriendly as it gets.
    Google can put whatever apps they want on THEIR OWN PHONES.

    But forcing OTHER PHONE makers to put Google Apps is the problem.
    auxio said:
    auxio said:
    Apple doesn't impose their policy on other phone manufacturers.  I'm fairly certain this is the reason for concern over how Google's policies are stifling competition.  It's good to spend a bit of time thinking about things rather than knee-jerk reacting.
    Google doesn't 'impose" any policy on any manufacturer. They're license agreements. The manufacturers can choose not to use, alter and ship Android if they please. 
    I understand that there is a choice in the matter.  Just as there was a choice for PC manufacturers not to use Microsoft Windows in the 1990s.  But one can't ignore that, in reality, there is very little choice for these manufacturers if they want to have a phone/computer with all the features of their competitors.  And lawmakers tend to deal with economic and competitive realities, not theoretical possibilities.
    @Sog35 @auxio , think of it this way. A few days ago we had a discussion thread about certain EU authorities investigating Apple contracts with European carriers. The general view of most posters here was no one forced those carriers to sign those contracts thus Apple wasn't doing anything wrong, and that despite some of the the same arguments stated here about being a market leader. NOT contracting with Apple to sell iPhones would be a marketing mistake as they lead the world in market share for a single line of smartphones. Google isn't forcing anyone to sign on with Google Android either, despite the economic repercussions of choosing not to use the world leader in OS market share.
    cnocbuisingularity
  • Reply 45 of 73
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,487member
    auxio said:
    Where in your example are you talking about the real world where companies can be competitive without it?
    The crux of your argument is that Google is "forcing" manufacturers to use its app. You've failed to show how they're doing so. Your only argument is that it's hard to sell phones without Android. Yet, it still doesn't reason from that that you're forced to use it.
    I can tell from the point #3 you made before that you like to live in a "theoretical" world where private property doesn't exist and everyone holds hands and sings Kumbaya.

    In yours and jbdragon's theoretical world, it's possible for a small company to create a handset from scratch, build their own OS for it, build their own app ecosystem, and then somehow make a profit on it after they've invested 100x what their competitors have in R&D.  All of this in face of the fact that profit margins on handsets are already insanely thin, even for the manufacturers who invest as little as possible in R&D and use Android.  But I realize it's far easier to live in the theoretical world than the real one.
    edited April 2016 ericthehalfbee
  • Reply 46 of 73
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,799member
    Android! It's FREE! Whoopee! If you sell your soul to the Devil, the EU should have nothing to say about it.
    edited April 2016
  • Reply 47 of 73
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,487member

    jbdragon said:
    auxio said:
    They wouldn't be stripped bare -- they'd simply have other companies providing some of the core apps rather than being forced to use Google's.
    That can already be done!.  Look at all of China.  Google really doesn't exist in China.  It's all forked versions of Android with their own app stores! 
    And how many of those handset manufacturers are going to be around in 5 years time?

    Look at Amazon, same thing.  There's no Google, it's their own forked version of Android with Amazon's own services and app store!!! 
    Amazon is similar to Google in that they aren't trying to make money directly off of their hardware.  They have a content ecosystem and the hardware is just a means to drive more people to buy their content.

    There is nothing stopping a single company from doing the exact same thing.  I really don't see what the problem is.   He'll these company could even make Windows phones.  Why not? 
    Nobody is making money on Windows phones.

    There is nothing stopping someone else to grab OS sales and Android from dropping down from being #1.  
    Nothing aside from the fact that it'd take a few billion dollars in losses to do it.
  • Reply 48 of 73
    Rayz2016 said:
    saltyzip said:
    “Our concern is that, by requiring phone makers and operators to pre-load a set of Google apps, rather than letting them decide for themselves which apps to load, Google might have cut off one of the main ways that new apps can reach customers,”

    So what does Apple do that's different?

    Apple owns the hardware and the software; it's sold as a complete unit by Apple, so they can put what they want on it.  Google can do what they want with their Nexus phones, but they can't tell other manufacturers what to install – according to the EU anyway.

    No great fan of Google, but this sounds like another case of the EU trying to line its coffers at the expense of a non-EU company.
    I don't see how the EU is "lining its coffers" here (for the avoidance of doubt, Samsung and other major Android phone makers are not European). What money flows to Europe?

    Some may disagree with the EU in intervening on Google's rules for using Android. It may be a case of what Google said: Android is open-source software that you can use freely except that you have to use the version that we say and include this closed-source stuff too. The EU may think that this doesn't quite add up to the usual understanding of open-source. Personally I would liken it to the browser position on Windows: intended to increase consumer choice, it actually forces a rather complex decision onto ordinary users (before they're able to browse the web for recommendations!).

    So I'd be happy for Google to demand whatever they like of Android licensees. They'd need to stop claiming it's open and modifiable and so on though (you know, all those things that Apple gets beaten up for not being).
  • Reply 49 of 73
    auxio said:
    The crux of your argument is that Google is "forcing" manufacturers to use its app. You've failed to show how they're doing so. Your only argument is that it's hard to sell phones without Android. Yet, it still doesn't reason from that that you're forced to use it.
    I can tell from the point #3 you made before that you like to live in a "theoretical" world where private property doesn't exist and everyone holds hands and sings Kumbaya.

    In yours and jbdragon's theoretical world, it's possible for a small company to create a handset from scratch, build their own OS for it, build their own app ecosystem, and then somehow make a profit on it after they've invested 100x what their competitors have in R&D.  All of this in face of the fact that profit margins on handsets are already insanely thin, even for the manufacturers who invest as little as possible in R&D and use Android.  But I realize it's far easier to live in the theoretical world than the real one.
    Where and how in the world can you deduct from any of my arguments that I don't believe in private property? Even non-human animals show evidence of property ownership.

    The point is, you have fail, and continue to do so, at showing how Google is "forcing" any manufacturer to do anything. You don't need a theoretical argument for that. Just because it's hard to sell a phone without Android doesn't mean Google is "forcing" anyone to use it.
    edited April 2016
  • Reply 50 of 73

    I myself don't want to pay 80% of my income in taxes. It's why I don't live in Europe. Google can whine about it all they want and their apologists can rant and rave about it. It doesn't change anything. Apple's business model seems acceptable and Google's is not. 
    Poetic licence, I'm sure, but I live in Europe and I don't pay 80% of my income in taxes.

    Wouldn't be able to afford to buy all that wonderful American computer kit if I did.  :-)
  • Reply 51 of 73
    os2babaos2baba Posts: 262member
    auxio said:
    os2baba said:

    It's not the same situation at all.  Google does not prevent handset manufacturers from installing their own apps.  
    Really?
    Yes. Really.  All the HTC, Samsung etc. phones sold over the last 5 years testify to that.
  • Reply 52 of 73
    os2babaos2baba Posts: 262member
    os2baba said:
    It's not the same situation at all.  Google does not prevent handset manufacturers from installing their own apps.  It just insists that they have to install the Google apps *as well*.  Big difference.  Plus, Android itself lets you choose which app to be used as the default, the first time and if you desire, every time an operation is performed that launches an app that implements an Android Intent.  On Android, the first time an operation is performed Google's apps don't even get any kind of preference.  They are shown in a list along with every other app that can satisfy the request.

    The fact is that the vast majority of Android users simply prefer Google's versions to the mostly sub standard fare that Android OEMs like Samsung provide - hence the term bloatware is not directed at Google's offerings, but rather those of the OEMs.

    Microsoft's license actively prevented a competitor's app (or OS) from being installed on the machine. 

    It's exactly the same situation.  That situation is 'telling OEMs what has to be installed on the Phone'.  And yes, google own apps are considered bloatware - you just need to pull your head out of google's ass.

    The Microsoft issues started when they wouldn't allow OEM's from removing Internet Explorer off the desktop.  

    Of course when they license the Play Store, they have to install some Google apps.  What's wrong with that?  They don't have to be a member of the OHA.  In which case, they can just license the Play Store (and related apps) on the phones that they do want to sell in certain markets.  But they can't be a member of the OHA and sell some phones in some markets with Play Services and some without (AFAIK). 

    And I'm not even sure if that's still being required.  Even the Nexus 6P I have did not come with many Google apps pre-installed.  Only the Play Store and Chrome I think.  I don't think even YouTube was installed.  And you can uninstall all (most?) Google apps.  I wouldn't know. I use them. 

    Personally, I'm perfectly fine with my head up Google's ass since I like the services they provide.  On the other hand, when I don't like the services they provide like Google+, I never used them.  I used to use Waze before Google bought them instead of Google Maps.  If I don't want Google's services, I could have chosen to use the Amazon App Store or bing or duck duck go.  I can do all of that.  I don't even have to enter my gmail account to use an Android phone.  Of course, as I said before, the vast majority of folks prefer Google's services because they find it valuable.  On the other hand, Samsung in spite of having cornered the Android market for a while got no traction whatsoever in their app store or other second rate products that they pre-installed on their phones.  That should say something.

    I'm not sure how this works in China since Google does not play there.  But even Chinese OEMs like Xiaomi and Huawei recognize that nobody is going to buy their phones without the Play Store outside China.  So even the low end phones that they sell in India are shipped with the Play Store.

    Wrong.  The Microsoft issue was first that they would not allow Netscape to be pre-installed.  So most users would just use the default app that was installed as opposed to downloading and installing Netscape - if they were even aware of it.  That's what the DOJ stopped.  With the ruling, Netscape was also allowed to be pre-bundled in.


  • Reply 53 of 73
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,397member
    The European Commission and global media giant News Corp. on Monday confirmed separate actions against Google, with both factions suggesting that Google may be violating European regulations.

    Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso on Monday confirmed a complaint from News Corp. that it will begin to assess. While neither News Corp. nor the Commission have provided any formal details, a Bloomberg source suggested that the issue is the combination of Google's search engine and Google News, which by scraping information allegedly deters people from visiting news websites and generating ad revenue.

    News Corp. owns a number of major news sites around the world, including the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post in the U.S., Britain's The Times, and Australia's news.com.au. Even though publications like the Journal nominally hide their full content behind a paywall, Google's rules stipulate that articles must be available to scrape, and indeed it's possible to bypass the Journal's paywall by manually searching for an article's headline.
    In somewhat related news Google's book scanning, opposed by the Author's Guild as infringing on copyright laws, was deemed legally permissible "Fair Use" today, with SCOTUS declining the opportunity to rule against the Federal Appeals finding already made in Google's favor last year. As we've seen before there's an inconsistency in international views and laws on intellectual property. 
  • Reply 54 of 73
    gatorguy said:
    sog35 said:
    Google can put whatever apps they want on THEIR OWN PHONES.

    But forcing OTHER PHONE makers to put Google Apps is the problem.
    @Sog35 @auxio , think of it this way. A few days ago we had a discussion thread about certain EU authorities investigating Apple contracts with European carriers. The general view of most posters here was no one forced those carriers to sign those contracts thus Apple wasn't doing anything wrong, and that despite some of the the same arguments stated here about being a market leader. NOT contracting with Apple to sell iPhones would be a marketing mistake as they lead the world in market share for a single line of smartphones. Google isn't forcing anyone to sign on with Google Android either, despite the economic repercussions of choosing not to use the world leader in OS market share.

    Except Apple isn't going to carriers and saying "In order to carry the iPhone you also have to agree to sell 'insert product here'. If you don't sell both products together you can't sell the iPhone." Big difference.
  • Reply 55 of 73
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,397member
    gatorguy said:
    sog35 said:
    Google can put whatever apps they want on THEIR OWN PHONES.

    But forcing OTHER PHONE makers to put Google Apps is the problem.
    @Sog35 @auxio , think of it this way. A few days ago we had a discussion thread about certain EU authorities investigating Apple contracts with European carriers. The general view of most posters here was no one forced those carriers to sign those contracts thus Apple wasn't doing anything wrong, and that despite some of the the same arguments stated here about being a market leader. NOT contracting with Apple to sell iPhones would be a marketing mistake as they lead the world in market share for a single line of smartphones. Google isn't forcing anyone to sign on with Google Android either, despite the economic repercussions of choosing not to use the world leader in OS market share.

    Except Apple isn't going to carriers and saying "In order to carry the iPhone you also have to agree to sell 'insert product here'. If you don't sell both products together you can't sell the iPhone." Big difference.
    Oh, I'm absolutely certain that to YOU there's a big difference. ;)

    In the first case it was Apple adding licensing terms that might be anti-competitive in the view of EU authorities, whether rightly or wrongly. Most here in that previous thread opined "wrongly". In this one it's Google perhaps including anti-competitive terms in the view of EU authorities, whether rightly or wrongly.  You and some others would say "rightly". Well OK then. 
    edited April 2016
  • Reply 56 of 73
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Google is supposed to be "open fucking source", that's the god damn difference.
    Samsung couldn't release a phone without Google on it even if they wanted to, that's one fraccking big difference hey.

    If they want ANY of their phone with Google's service on it, they can't produce any without it.
    The underlying fracking software IS NOT THEIRS, GOT THAT AWILLIAM!
    it's fracking supposedly open source, yet it obviously is not.
    THAT IS THE ISSUE.

    Apple owns the hardware AND software, that's one fracking big difference hmmm...




  • Reply 57 of 73
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    jbdragon said:
    saltyzip said:
    “Our concern is that, by requiring phone makers and operators to pre-load a set of Google apps, rather than letting them decide for themselves which apps to load, Google might have cut off one of the main ways that new apps can reach customers,”

    So what does Apple do that's different?
    Apple doesn't license iOS to 3rd party's at all.  So Apple can't dictate to anyone what their terms are.  That's what's different.  Not that I think Google is doing anything wrong either.  No one is forcing you to use Android.  Make Windows phones!!. Hell, create your own OS.  Take a look at China or even Amazon.  Using their own forked version of Android.  Google has zero input!!  

    You can't have it both ways.  Elect to use Google's services but then not have their apps and be front and center.  That's the whole point.  Our you create your own services and app store and kick Google to the curb.  This is just another dumb lawsuit.



    Huh? Android makers can barely fork away from Google now.
    There is plenty of legal grounds to sue Android; more so than MS in the 1990s.
    They're basically slowly strong arming everyone in being their bitch.
  • Reply 58 of 73
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    auxio said:
    Where in your example are you talking about the real world where companies can be competitive without it?
    The crux of your argument is that Google is "forcing" manufacturers to use its app. You've failed to show how they're doing so. Your only argument is that it's hard to sell phones without Android. Yet, it still doesn't reason from that that you're forced to use it.
    If a manufacturer sells an Android fracking phone with Google, it can't sell one without it. That's it, game over. They have to "option", that's what this suit is about "genius"".
    Even if they just reverse engineers the API (which would be possible for someone like Samsung, they got the money for that), it's not legally possible to do so.
    The only option is a clean fork with no relation at all to Android (like Amazon). It's rare because very few have the existing ecosystem to pursue this.

    How can they even know if they could sell one without the other if it's not really possible to do so?

    tmay
  • Reply 59 of 73
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,397member
    foggyhill said:
    auxio said:
    Where in your example are you talking about the real world where companies can be competitive without it?
    The crux of your argument is that Google is "forcing" manufacturers to use its app. You've failed to show how they're doing so. Your only argument is that it's hard to sell phones without Android. Yet, it still doesn't reason from that that you're forced to use it..
    Even if they just reverse engineers the API (which would be possible for someone like Samsung, they got the money for that), it's not legally possible to do so.
    The only option is a clean fork with no relation at all to Android (like Amazon). It's rare because very few have the existing ecosystem to pursue this.
    Do you look stuff up before you write it as fact? 
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_custom_Android_firmware

    Add to that list:
    -Oppo who used open-sourced Android to develop Color OS for their handsets
    -Cyanogen who uses open-sourced Android to develop and maintain operating system software for existing Google Android devices as well as their own branded smartphones
    -Huawei's EMUI OS, installed on most of their smartphones and made possible by Google's contribution of Android code to open-source.
    -The Flyme OS, yet another operating system built on AOSP (Android Open-source Project) and used for a line of handsets produced by Meizu.
    -There's also Xiaomi's MIUI, yet another Android-based operating system installed on millions of smart devices 
    -Even the former Android foil and competitor Nokia finds Google's Android open-source code valuable for developing a new OS, NokiaX.

    If you would like to better understand what and who is involved in the Android Open-Source Project here's the first place to look:
    http://source.android.com/

    foggyhill
    said:
    Google is supposed to be "open fucking source", that's the god damn difference.
    Google was never intended to be open-source AFAIK, tho many of their software projects are. I'll assume you really meant to say that Android was open-sourced, which a large portion of it was.

    Google, and rightly so IMHO, is trying to wrest back some control in order to reduce the impact of the infamous "fragmentation" issue as well as better monetize their on-going investment in Android development. But Google has not abandoned contributions to the open-source Android base code, nor have they indicated any intention to that I've read about. That's why Chinese phone manufacturers (among others) can so easily develop operating systems for their phones. The base code is available for anyone to use, free and fully licensed, even by you sir if you wished. Isn't that open-source by definition? 
    edited April 2016 cnocbui
  • Reply 60 of 73
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 1,291member
    Where in your example does Google "force" you to use Android?
    I am pretty sure Google does not own Samsung, HP, Nokia, etc. and thus, allow third party manufactures, in their own will, not to choose Google apps in their offerings. Wait, no?  Then by definition, it's "force".

    2.
    make (someone) do something against their will.
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