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How to Take Down the Leading Mobile OS: Complain

It may not prove to be the most effective strategy, but some the world's leading technology companies have filed a complaint to the EU Commission that Google's (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) Android operating system is giving the company a monopoly on mobile, search advertising, and consumer data. 

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) , Nokia (NYSE: NOK  ) , Oracle, and TripAdvisor are teaming up against Google, saying that the company is using Android as a "Trojan horse" to monopolize the mobile marketplace. When it comes to Microsoft and Nokia, it's pretty clear why the two aren't exactly happy with Google's OS dominance. 

Why Nokia's upset
It's not difficult to figure out why Nokia might not be too happy with Android's current position in the mobile market. Nokia has bet the farm on the Windows Phone platform and it's currently battling it out with BlackBerry for more market share in both the U.S. and Europe. You can see below how far the Windows Phone platform has to go in Europe:

Source: TechCrunch. 

The more market share that the Windows Phone platform takes up, the more Nokia benefits. The EU Commission hasn't even agreed to hear the official compliant by the companies, but in theory it could hear the complaint and come down on Google, and break up some of Android's monopoly. That'd be great news for Nokia, but it's also an unlikely scenario.

What Microsoft has to gain
Obviously Microsoft wants to see its mobile platform compete against Android and gain more ground, but that's not all it's concerned with. The big problem Microsoft has with the don't-be-evil company is that Google uses its Android platform to tap mobile users for advertisements. Google is expected to snag $3.36 billion in mobile search advertising in the U.S. this year alone. Microsoft is trying to gain more mobile search advertising through Bing and it's been very public about its thoughts on Google's search advertising practices.

If the complaint can prove that Google has a monopoly on mobile advertising, Microsoft stands to benefit by being the next best option for mobile users. Part of Microsoft's strategy is to topple Google's advertising tower through lawsuits and complaints. The EU Commission is currently looking into another complaint about Google's advertising practices, and this new complaint is just another attempt to unseat the advertising king. 

Easier said that done
It's not likely this complaint, even if it's heard by the EU Commission, will somehow flip Android's OS domination in Europe. But one thing that lawmakers seem keen on listening to is consumer data protection. The latest complaint says that back in April six European data protection agencies began investigating if Google broke EU laws when it consolidated its Google account online policies. It also says that Google had to pay the FTC back in August to settle charges that it misled Safari browser users.

If Google's already painted in a bad light for how it handles user data, the Commission may be more apt to hear the complaint and do something about it -- in the name of consumer privacy protection. Even if some sort of judgement or settlement comes about from this, the Android platform isn't likely to fall apart any time soon, and neither is Google's mobile search dominance.

As one of the most dominant Internet companies ever, Google has made a habit of driving strong returns for its shareholders. However, like many other web companies, it's also struggling to adapt to an increasingly mobile world. Despite gaining an enviable lead with its Android operating system, the market isn't sold. That's why it's more important than ever to understand each piece of Google's sprawling empire. In The Motley Fool's new premium research report on Google, we break down the risks and potential rewards for Google investors. Simply click here now to unlock your copy of this invaluable resource.

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Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On April 11, 2013, at 8:48 AM, leslyharrys wrote:

    Why can't analyst be honest. Android is not at all to be loved. it should be hated, but almost nobody knows it:

    '10 Per cent Android apps malware

    9-3-2013 14:55

    Of all the Android apps is 10 percent malicious and / or damaging (malware). Another 5 percent is very risky. That the security company Trend Micro has identified.

    The company surveyed more than 2 million Android apps. More than 293,000 of them seem downright harmful. The apps are not only dishonest suppliers in Russia or China: a small 69,000 of the harmful apps are available at the app store Google Play.

    Experience also shows that 22 percent of the examined apps leaking private information about the user, such as the phone number and other contact information. Also draws a third of the apps the battery quickly and 28 percent eating memory.

    Trend Micro speaks of a real problem, which is not, by the security industry has invented solutions to sell to non - existing problems".

    Nearly half of all smartphones in the Netherlands runs on Android, Google's operating system.

    © Reuters

  • Report this Comment On April 11, 2013, at 10:30 AM, ROEoutshinesGOLD wrote:


    Google translate has failed you.

    Though, I did get the gist of what you were trying to get across.

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