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What's Wrong With The Latest FairSearch Complaint to the EU Commision About Google? A Lot ~pj Updated 5Xs
Thursday, July 18 2013 @ 04:16 PM EDT

I've been thinking a lot about the latest complaint to the EU Commission by those persistent anti-Google complainers, FairSearch. Believe it or not, part of the complaint is that it's anticompetitive to distribute Android for free when proprietary companies have costs for development:
When its comes to the charges related to "predatory distribution of Android at below cost" Blaber is less understanding of FairSearch's stance. "That is a very difficult argument to make in a mobile industry where open source is quickly becoming the norm. ... Really it's only Microsoft that still has a model based on license fees," he said.
Aha! Microsoft. So, it's about *Microsoft's* business model, not any other FairSearch member? Well, maybe Microsoft's little partner, Nokia, but that is the same thing, having trouble competing against Android, and complaining to regulators that it's not fair to distribute Android for free when others have proprietary products that they claim they have to charge for to recoup their investment. That makes this complaint yet another anti-Linux, anti-Open Source, anti-GPL attack from Microsoft, which has a long history of such behavior. It's an attack against the Open Source development model itself. Free distribution is the norm for Open Source. It's also, I believe, part of a coordinated smear campaign against Google. And while FairSearch claims it's not dominated by Microsoft, this complaint demonstrates otherwise.

I suggest writing to the EU Commission, to make sure they understand what is at issue. Here's the page that lists who to write to:

comp-greffe-antitrust at
I know I don't need to remind you that politeness counts. Also, do read all the instructions on that linked page. For example, they don't accept any emails larger than 8 MB. I could do it in a tweet, I suspect:
FairSearch attacks Open Source/GPL. #NotFair.
I doubt the EU Commission realizes this is what is at stake, if it took me this long to figure it out, and I'm always trying to be on the alert. If the EU Commission gets this wrong, the result would be that it would discourage use of Open Source code, out of fear of being accused, if successful, of anticompetitive behavior for offering free code.

Incidentally, South Korea just acquitted Google of any antitrust behavior regarding search, after looking into it for two years, saying there are plenty of alternative search engines (here are 11 of them), and the EU Commission should not accept this new attack against Google as valid either. So far, it's just a complaint, and the Commission looks into any complaint filed, but it's not yet an official investigation, and it should never become one. I'll show you why I say that.

Jump To Comments

Update, Update 2
Update 3, Update 4
Update 5]

I can't show you the complaint itself, because Europe isn't like the US, where all filings are made public. But according to media reports, the latest complaint to the EU Commission has two prongs, one that vendors have to use Google apps on their phones and secondly that it's not fair to distribute Android for free, where proprietary software is sold on a per license basis. Here's the press release FairSearch put out when they filed, speaking of smearing Google in the media:

Google achieved its dominance in the smartphone operating system market by giving Android to device-makers for ‘free.’ But in reality, Android phone makers who want to include must-have Google apps such as Maps, YouTube or Play are required to pre-load an entire suite of Google mobile services and to give them prominent default placement on the phone, the complaint says. This disadvantages other providers, and puts Google’s Android in control of consumer data on a majority of smartphones shipped today.

Google’s predatory distribution of Android at below-cost makes it difficult for other providers of operating systems to recoup investments in competing with Google’s dominant mobile platform, the complaint says.

And here's a white paper as reported by Politico, listing FairSearch's allegations:
  • Google used its “desktop search dominance” to fund and give away its Android operating system for free and has since taken over the market for licensable mobile operating systems.
  • Google imposes “de facto” anti-competitive exclusive agreements on Android handset makers.
  • Google is leveraging its positions in desktop search and mobile OS by bundling its Mobile Search with Android “to exclude competition in search on mobile platforms.”
  • Google is bundling its own mobile services in Android through free preloaded apps “in order to foreclose competing apps and service providers.”

The antitrust allegations against Google regarding Android are similar to the Justice Department’s antitrust arguments against Microsoft in the 1990s that the software maker was using its dominance in one market to squelch competition in another.

In this case, FairSearch argues that Google has been using Android licensing contracts to help bundle its other products by requiring handset makers to take Google apps — such as Maps, YouTube, search — and set Google’s app store as the default, said ThomasVinje, EU counsel for FairSearch. Even worse in this case, he added, is that Google is giving Android away for free, which he alleged was undercutting the market by using “predatory” pricing.

First off, this isn't even fundamentally true, the part about bundling. Amazon's Kindle uses Android code, and it doesn't put anything on the Kindle that it doesn't feel like putting on the Kindle, so that is a false complaint about bundling. Barnes & Noble used Android for its Nook readers, and they didn't bundle anything. You can do whatever you want with Android code. It's free, free to use as you want. Microsoft could use it the same way, making it suit its purposes, and it wouldn't even have to call it Android. Amazon doesn't.

And if you are selling an Android phone, what app store would you use? iTunes? The apps have to run on Android. Google isn't Microsoft. It's not even close to being the same. It's not the 1990's. Whose idea was it to reproduce those accusations against Microsoft and substitute Google's name, as if they are on the same planet, from a business perspective?

Anyway, it's not even true about bundling on Android phones. It can't be. Do you remember the Samsung Android phone that had Bing as the default? I do. It was not only the default, there was no way to change it to Google. If the FairSearch complaint was actually true, as in based on actual facts instead of astroturf spin, that couldn't have happened. But it did happen.

That was in 2010, when Bing was first made available for Android phones. It was only the second Microsoft app made available, the first being Microsoft Tag Reader, according to the CNET article, so if Microsoft wanted its apps to be placed on Android phones, which I doubt, it should have made more of them available. As for Nokia, it doesn't have an Android app for Nokia Maps. It has a mapping service on the web and it sends users there instead of building an app as one ordinarily thinks of the term. And it only made that available last year. Would you put Apple's map on your phone instead of Google's? Seriously? And if, as we read, Bing returns more malware than Google Search, would you choose Bing for *your* phone? I have used Opera's browser along with Firefox and others for years. Do you know what Opera has as their default search engine? DuckDuckGo, which uses Bing, by the way, for its results.

How stupid is a complaint about bundling apps from these two companies, Microsoft and Nokia, then? If they were really fair, they'd tell them all this themselves, instead of me having to do it. What? Microsoft doesn't know about that Android phone with Bing as the default? Puh-lease. There were so many complaints, they *have* to know.

You guys probably know of more examples of phones not requiring that all Google apps FairSearch lists be the default apps, so feel free to share what you know. I don't own a mobile phone, personally, so I'm limited in what I can speak to as a user, as opposed to as a researcher.

My main focus is that what Google does with Android code is exactly what the whole Free and Open Source community normally does with projects. It's normal. The whole point of releasing code freely is so it can reach as many developers and users as possible, so the code can be improved quickly. And it is, which is why most people today would prefer to use Android. Android is easy to root, and then the world is your oyster. People like freedom to do what they want with their own things. It's in our DNA.

With GPL'd software, a principal difference between it and proprietary software is that with proprietary software, you charge for a license; with GPL'd software, like Linux, you don't charge for the license. It's not distributed like proprietary software, where you charge for a license. What that cunning Microsoft is doing in this complaint is attacking the very thing one would have to do when distributing Linux under the GPL -- make the license free of charge.

And if giving code away for free is anticompetitive, why is Oracle distributing MySQL and its Java implementations for free and under the GPL, no less? For that matter, Oracle takes Red Hat's free code, adds a bit here and there, and then offers it as its own distribution of Linux. Is that anticompetitive? It's under the GPL and it's free. What remedy is FairSearch asking for if free distribution of code is what they claim is the problem? If the answer is that no one can distribute code for free and be successful at the same time, that's like saying the only solution is to force customers to pay more than they have to now for a phone. Is that the purpose of regulators? And if Oracle thinks free distribution is anticompetitive, it needs to change its own ways. Or is it Microsoft running FairSearch, not Oracle? You tell me.

If Google has to stop distributing Android code for free, does Red Hat have to stop making its code available via the Fedora project? I doubt Oracle would like that.

Code made available for free is how it's usually done, particularly GPL-licensed code, like Linux. There is no law against making money from distributing your software, but it's always so available, most people do what Red Hat does, sell support services, and that's how they make their money. Is that now "anticompetitive"?

I mean, that's what Google is doing with Android, if you think about it, only they provide apps that do the basic things people want done instead of personal support services, if you want that. I have a Chromebook now, with Google's ChromeOS, and I don't use a single Google app on it, by the way, even though it's designed especially for that. I don't have to. You can do whatever you want with free code. That's the entire point of it. There is no lock in. Google always gives you choices. In fact, I put GNU/Linux on my Chromebook using instructions Google itself provides. I mean, come on. You don't even have to use cookies when you use their search engine, if you don't want to. The New York Times forces you to use cookies, so they can track what you read, I suppose, but Google doesn't do that.

So what I hear FairSearch saying is that if a GPL-based product is wildly successful, they have to start charging for a license or it's anticompetitive. That's just wrong. It's Microsoft, once again, attacking the GPL.

I'm always trying to be alert for Microsoft hijinks, because Microsoft is, as Jeff John Roberts wrote last year on paidContent, a "master at the craft" of astroturfing. And the latest smear campaign against Google by FairSearch, Microsoft and FOSSpatents is deeply unfair and I now conclude yet another example of Microsoft doing what it does.

Here's a bit more of what Roberts wrote in April of 2012:

The phenomenon has been on display again during this week’s epic intellectual property trial between Google vs Oracle. Florian Mueller, a self-proclaimed patent expert funded by both Oracle and Microsoft, has been issuing a flurry of biased blog posts that don’t mention his paymasters. (His risible excuse for the shameless plumping is that he’s an “analyst”).

Microsoft is hardly the first company to astroturf but it does deserve special mention for being a master of the craft. As well as its patent puppet, the company has a roster of other hired mouths. ...

For a company like Microsoft that is in tight competition for billions of dollars, spending a few million on astroturf may be a smart strategy. The potential pay-off is huge — especially if astroturf efforts get a rival dragged before court or regulatory investigations....The problem here is that astro-turfing may help companies but it also harms the public’s ability to understand complicated issues in technology.

It harms regulators' ability to understand complicated issues as well.

How Fair is FairSearch?

As for Fairsearch, how has its behavior been, would you say? Here's how The Verge described FairSearch in April, in case you're new to FairSearch:

Initially formed by travel search engines Kayak, Expedia, and TripAdvisor, then later joined by Microsoft, FairSearch describes itself as a coalition of businesses concerned with protecting consumers’ rights online. A choice of search provider underpinned by vibrant competition, a resolute commitment to transparency, and an unswerving desire for innovation are the three central pillars of FairSearch’s stated credo. Oh, and Google is the villain with the technicolor logo that’s on a mission to destroy it all.

Beneath the sheen of do-gooder ideology, FairSearch can be most charitably described as a Google watchdog. It seeks to fan the flames of disapproval where they’ve started organically, originate them where they haven’t, and generally disseminate negativity toward the Google brand. Think of it as a PR firm working to destroy rather than create goodwill.

Every member company in FairSearch competes with Google in some fashion, and would enjoy an obvious advantage from seeing the leader’s wings clipped, but there’s another important benefit that the lobbying group confers upon its members: obscurity. Putting on its FairSearch hat, Microsoft can mount public assaults on Google’s practices and reputation without tarnishing its own name by being visibly involved in the spat. In the fight for hearts and minds, FairSearch helps to create the appearance of Google being in perpetual trouble with the law, whereas in reality what Google’s facing is a concerted attack from a cabal of its competitors.

The latest development in this ongoing relationship comes courtesy of an EU complaint filed by FairSearch against Google. It ventures into new territory for FairSearch as its allegations relate to Android’s smartphone dominance and Google’s "predatory distribution" of the mobile operating system. This would be an oddity if you read the coalition’s web-centric mission statement, but fits neatly into the larger goal of tripping Google up at every opportunity. In fact, the current finger-pointing was presaged at the end of last year, when Nokia and Oracle joined FairSearch and Politico got ahold of a white paper outlining FairSearch’s attack on Google’s mobile efforts....

But it's still unclear exactly what FairSearch wants out of all this lobbying — or how real the threats it warns against actually are.

So what I think is going on is astroturfing against Google, and the complaints to regulators are very much a part of that. I mean, Microsoft has an entire group who do nothing but find fault with Google. Like attacking them for not protecting your privacy, those hypocrites. Microsoft was the first to sign up with the NSA, after all, speaking of privacy.

And in case you think it's just me that is finding the FairSearch complaints unsavory or at least not appealing, here are two more articles complaining about FairSearch:

  • Why FairSearch Can't Find Anyone To Listen To Its Anti-Google Tirades by Brian Proffit, ReadWrite, April 16, 2013:
    It's not like FairSearch, a tech lobbying group with 17 members that each have a reason to want Google hamstrung in one way or another, isn't trying. It has run advertisements. It has produced videos. It has held panel discussions. It has lobbied lawmakers and regulators.

    The general response? Apathy.

    For instance, two anti-Google videos FairSearch posted on YouTube have only 1,874 views. The group's Twitter account has 939 followers. Clearly, it's having trouble getting traction....

    Read "," and it's hard not to think "Microsoft" — Google's sworn enemy. True, Microsoft is only one of the group's 17 members, and isn't even a co-founder. But it's still hard to take FairSearch's complaints at face value, because everyone knows they're self-serving and tailored to advance the interests of Microsoft and other members. Particularly when they follow Microsoft's own high-profile assaults on Google.

  • Microsoft not fooling anyone by using FairSearch front in antitrust complaint against Google, Gregg Keizer, ComputerWorld, April 9, 2013:
    Microsoft isn't fooling anyone by hiding behind a trade group to complain to European antitrust regulators about Google and its Android mobile operating system, a legal expert said today.

    " is seen by many observers here as a Microsoft Trojan Horse," said Nicolas Petit, a professor of competition law at the University of Liege in Belgium. "Everyone understands here in Brussels that it's Microsoft versus Google." On Monday, FairSearch, a group whose 17 members include Microsoft, Nokia -- a Microsoft partner in mobile -- and Oracle, filed a complaint with the European Commission, the EU's antitrust agency, claiming that Google has abused Android's dominance in the smartphone space to deceive hardware partners, monopolize the marketplace, and control consumer data....

    The Commission declined to comment on the FairSearch filing, but confirmed it had received the complaint. Under its rules, the Commission can move forward on a formal investigation, or reject the complaint.

    But the source of the claims is Microsoft, pure and simple. "No one is really fooled. Everyone knows that [FairSearch] lies in the shadow of Microsoft," Petit said.

    Over the years, Microsoft has used several groups to urge the Commission to investigate its rival's business practices, including the Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace (ICOMP) and the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT). The former is largely funded by Microsoft, while Microsoft is one of several prominent members -- others include eBay and Oracle -- of the latter.

Microsoft joined FairSearch in 2010, but it was long believed by many to be working behind the scenes even before that.

So why is the EU Commission taking the FairSearch complaints seriously when FairSearch is getting its facts wrong?

What's Wrong With the Latest Fairsearch Complaint about Google?

There is a smear campaign going on. And a harrassment campaign. It's that simple. After Microsoft, and later Oracle, hired Florian Mueller of FOSSpatents, there's been a steady stream of negative articles about Google and any vendor who uses Android. Lawsuits galore, as well, generating even more anti-Google headlines. The goal seems to me to be to influence not just the public but OEMs, judges, potential juries, as well as regulators who are then bombarded with complaints from Microsoft and its buddies/proxies both in the US and in Europe. Like FairSearch.

Where do they get these names? Fairness doesn't seem to me to be what FairSearch is after.

We've seen attempts to destroy the GPL before in complaints to the EU Commission, and Florian Mueller was advising the folks suggesting, unsuccessfully, that MySQL have its license changed from the GPL to some other license, like the BSD license, saying that the GPL was a source of "infection" and that it "effectively prevents this from being a commercial opportunity".

Microsoft has been trying to destroy the GPL for a long, long time, by hook or by crook. I know because we've been covering it for a long, long time right here on Groklaw. It was Microsoft who helped fund the SCO attack on Linux, both directly (buying a license, they claimed, to SCO's patents and copyrights on UNIX, when SCO owned neither) and indirectly and via folks trying to please Microsoft, as it pursued its devious strategy to dump the GPL. Remember the Microsoft-funded Alexis de Tocqueville Institution's attack on Linus, claiming he stole from Minix? That wasn't true either, as the creator of Minix himself told the world, but lots of headlines for some time. If Microsoft is competing with you, you will get smeared, I've concluded.

Remember the Sun Microsystems-Microsoft patent deal that didn't cover OpenOffice or the GPL?

Oracle joined FairSearch the same time Nokia did. Why? Are they search companies? "Their addition is emblematic of the global scope of Google’s anti-competitive search and business practices, which harm consumers by curbing innovation and choice, not just in Web services, but also in mobile, and any platform where Google abuses its dominant position," Thomas Vinje, FairSearch's EU counsel, said in a statement at the time. Um. No. It's emblematic of Microsoft's tactics when it's competing with a company.

It's not innovation to force companies to use old-fashioned business models, to prop up one company that has been holding back innovation in its field for as long as there have been desktop computers. It would like to do the same on mobiles, I take it, and there's absolutely no reason for the EU Commission to do that for them.

Cluebat: people don't like Microsoft phones. Ask Nokia. Or any other devices. The world has fallen in love with Android phones. And a healthy chunk love Apple's proprietary phones. Microsoft is not a contender, unless regulators artificially prop it up by forbidding innovation in the mobile space. Android *is* innovative.

As for Microsoft, do you remember all the dead people who signed letters telling the DOJ to leave Microsoft alone back when that antitrust litigation was going on? If you forgot, here's the Public Citizen report [PDF] on it, and here's what they wrote about one Microsoft-funded group, Americans for Technology Leadership:

Funded at least in part by Microsoft, this group orchestrated a letter-writing campaign in 2001 to attorneys general in at least 18 states that had joined the Justice Department in anti-trust litigation against Microsoft. The group reportedly coordinated the campaign by surveying members of the public on their views on the Microsoft case. People who indicated support for Microsoft were then sent letters on personalized stationary to sign and forward to public officials. The letters used different phrasing and typefaces to mask the fact that they were coordinated, but certain repetitions (such as the phrase “strong competition and innovation have been the twin hallmarks of the technology industry”) gave them away. Not every letter was evidently written by a compliant survey subject. Utah’s attorney general received letters from at least two dead people. The group acknowledged receiving money from Microsoft but would not say how much.
FairSearch is the modern iteration of competing meanly and unfairly. There is a footnote that leads you to this LA Times article, "Lobbyists Tied to Microsoft Wrote Citizens' Letters". So Microsoft lobbyists and dead people wanted the Department of Justice to stop going after Microsoft. Now its lobbyists want regulators to go after Google.

Lordy, one could write a book about Microsoft. Actually, Groklaw kind of is that book, if you think about it.

How about the SenderID flap in 2004? No? Here's the introductory paragraphs I wrote about it then:

I've been reading about Sender ID and the flap about Microsoft's difficulty in playing nicely with others. It's a story that refuses to stand still. For three days, I've had an article ready, and then pulled it at the last minute when something new happened. Now I've decided to just tell you what I know so far and suggest you stay tuned for breaking developments. There is a lot of information, so feel free to skim. The last call period for Sender ID ends on Friday, which means the IETF must make a decision then on what to do about all this.

Sender ID, as you no doubt know, is a proposed IETF email standard that combines Microsoft's Caller ID with Meng Weng Wong's popular SPF. The combo is designed to make it difficult if not impossible to spoof an email sender address. It's also an anti-phishing technique. The problem is that Microsoft evidently -- at least so far -- believes that because it is offering to contribute a portion of the standard, and it has applied for a patent on the PRA algorithm, it should be able to control all of the standard by attaching restrictive licensing terms to their contribution, terms that would exclude GPL software from being able to use the standard.

Sounds fair to them.

Microsoft's plan, which you can read about in full in the article was to patent it and then license it for free, as in no money, but with a license that the GPL couldn't accept. One requirement was that you had to seek a license individually from Microsoft, with no sublicensing possible. Microsoft's suggestion, IIRC, was that everyone should just change to the BSD license. Just like in the MySQL saga. Drop the GPL and use the BSD instead, which allows proprietary companies to have it all -- free code and no obligations to keep it that way.

The problem was the license on the standard was incompatible with the GPL, the license that covers the number one competitor of Microsoft's. What kind of standard would that be, one that excludes GNU/Linux systems? The Apache Foundation killed the plan, to their credit. But Microsoft showed its hand rather clearly there. It hates the GPL. It always has.

If you are not familiar with Florian Mueller's articles on FOSSPatents, I've collected some ripe examples here and here. They are a steady stream of vilification of Google, predicting its doom. If you look at his latest, it's inappropriately titled, "Where's the DoJ? Samsung takes extortionate position against Apple in new ITC filing." []

"Extortionate"? Really? He's accusing Samsung, which sells Android phones, of extortion???! Samsung just won an injunction against Apple at the ITC, which agency firmly rejected Apple's defenses, saying it was guilty of reverse hold up. The ITC staff supports Samsung yet again, as his article mentions. Does that make the ITC staff also guilty of extortion? Enabling it? Is he crazy? Or just recklessly over the top with propaganda?

In short, the latest FairSearch complaint is not a serious complaint. And it's not fair.

All of this is to get you so used to being bombarded with anti-Google, anti-Google partners, anti-Android headlines, so you, and the EU Commission, will imagine that where there's smoke, there must be some fire somewhere.

Google must get awfully tired of not being able to clear their throat without somebody calling a press conference to announce another complaint filed about how they did it. And I believe that is the whole point -- to get so many complaints filed by Microsoft and its little helpers that it's hard for Google to concentrate on work, hard to dare to innovate, hard to make money. I don't believe this latest complaint is based on facts, any more than those dead people signing letters of support were actual people with feelings about the DOJ's litigation against Microsoft.

If you agree that this latest tactic of complaining about code distributed for free is a problem, please tell the EU Commission how you feel about making sure that FOSS is able to develop using its traditional model. It could matter, if enough of you take the time to explain this to them and let them know how you feel about this latest FairSearch salvo. Spread the word, please.

comp-greffe-antitrust at

Update: A reader points us to this Google page, Who is FairSearch? A tad awful, the info on that page, worse than I dreamed.

And another posted a link to this article on SearchEngine Land, "Google Doesn’t Require Google Search On Android, Despite What FairSearch & Microsoft Want You To Believe" by Danny Sullivan:

Fairsearch, a group backed by Microsoft and other Google competitors to lobby that Google isn’t “fair” to them with its search results, has been having a event today to push its view of all that’s wrong with Google. That includes building a myth that Google requires that all Android devices to use Google search. Google doesn’t do that. It never has. But that’s a good story the group still wants to tell....

That’s not true. Not only is it not true, it’s impossible. It’s impossible because Android code is released to anyone to do anything that they want with. But if just being impossible isn’t enough proof, how about proof of Android devices that have dropped Google as the default search engine?

There was AT&T’s first Android phone, the Motorola Backflip out in 2010. Yahoo was used as the default search provider on that, not Google.

There was the Samsung Galaxy S with Verizon, also known as the Galaxy Fascinate. That phone, which I personally tested for several weeks in 2011, used Bing as the default search. You know, Microsoft’s Bing search engine, the one Microsoft supposedly couldn’t cut deals with device makers or carriers to be the default on Android devices.

That happened because of a deal between Microsoft and probably Verizon (rather than Samsung; Microsoft and Verizon have done default search deals for mobile before). Nor was there any way to change the default away from Bing, if you were so inclined....

If Microsoft’s consultant putting out false facts isn’t bad enough, FairSearch makes it worse by reporting the error as being true and not picking up the correction that Athey later makes after a Google spokesperson in the audience calls her out on it. In fact, FairSearch even turns things to make it seem like Google was confirming what Athey said.

Read the whole article about a public conference where the false facts were told. It's nauseating enough, all right. But why would FairSearch repeat something publicly known not to be so?

This is all so, so wrong.

Update 2: A reader says his first Android phone was an LG Vortex from Verizon, and it too had Bing instead of Google Search and there was no way to change it. Here's a proof url that his memory is correct. Another reader says his toddler uses a Nabi Jr., which is an Android tablet for children, and it has no Google Apps at all and no PlayStore. Here's a picture of it. It's adorable. And it can also be used for other things too, as a baby monitor, for example, speaking of innovation:

Plug-and-Play Accessories: The nabi Jr. is your baby’s first electronic with its baby monitor accessory. It’s also amazing for make-believe with its innovative plug-and-play accessories that convert the nabi Jr. into a cash register, karaoke machine, game controller and digital pet!

The educational entertainment system that is so much more than a toy! For children ages 0-5, nabi Jr. is the world’s first full-featured Android tablet for kids for only $99. Powered by NVIDIA’s Tegra 1 GHz, dual-core processor, 4 GB storage, a 5-inch, high-resolution (800 X 480), capacitive touch screen and rotating front and back camera, the nabi Jr. is a breakthrough in a category filled with low-quality toys.

Here's another Android kids tablet, Kurio, which if you read the complaints on the Amazon page indicates that Kurio does not give you access to Google's Android market. Kurio has its own app store, which gives the lie to yet another FairSearch accusation.

Another reader notes that HP's Zeen tablets run Android, but there's no GMail and no Android Market and no Google Search and no YouTube app, because it uses Yahoo instead, and Yahoo is Bing:

...[T]he stock Android homescreen has been totally removed in favor of the TouchSmart UI. As we'd guessed, there's also no Gmail app or Market access, although there is a homegrown email client and a fair bit of integration with Yahoo services like Mail and Messenger. Facebook is also preloaded, and the screenshot shows apps for 60 Minutes, MSNBC, and Dreamworks, so it looks like there'll be some video action going on -- and that Barnes & Noble logo all but confirms the Nook compatibility our previous tipsters had mentioned.

Update 3: Another reader informs me that Viewsonic released the Viewsonic G Tablet a few years ago. This product only had the Google Search engine by default and did not include the rest of the Google apps. Instead this had a custom UI that resulted in critical reviews, and had a custom application store provided by Handango. The website detailing the applications for the viewsonic tablet now recommends taking a look at the Amazon App store instead.

Update 4: Here is a Wikipedia page listing Android devices. I am starting to go down the list. The very first one, the Acer beTouch E110, doesn't have the Android Market, for which is was criticized. So obviously, the complaint that vendors are forced to include it is wrong.

The next on the list, the Acer beTouch E400, supports Native Microsoft Exchange Server. In fact, this review by CNET wrote, "Even though it's an Android phone rather than Windows Mobile -- soon to be renamed Windows Phone 7 Series -- it's packed with Microsoft integration for the businessman about town."

The ASUS PadFone's main selling point was that apps could dynamically switch between the phone and the tablet, but the Google apps included couldn't do when the phone was first released:

With the Android build (IML74K.CHT_PadFone- shipped with our retail unit, only the handful of pre-loaded apps got Dynamic Switching working: People, Messaging, Dialer, Camera, Browser, Calendar, Supernote, Clock, Email, File Manager, Gallery and Video Player.

This list may seem to have the basics covered and it's easy to impress your friends with the seamless video playback in the default video player, but trust us, this is far from sufficient when you consider how all other apps slap you in the face with this painful message: "Application does not support dynamic display switching and has been closed." The black list includes pretty much all Google services (e.g., Maps, Gmail, Play services, Movie Studio and YouTube)...

Given the supposedly tight relationship between ASUS and Google, we were surprised by the severe incompatibility with Google services, so our assumption is that ASUS had to rush this product out ahead of Computex. On the bright side, ASUS told us this is something it's constantly honing, so here's hoping the OTA update coming this month adds more apps to the list.

Incompatibiillty with Google services implies that Google wasn't forcing ASUS's hand at all.

The HTC Legend, according to this review allowed loading apps outside of the Android Market: "You can install apps outside from the Market if you allow your phone to accept unknown app installation. All these possible without the need of jail breaking and other warranty defying ways."

As for the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0, it has Samsung features, as this review by PC Magazine highlights:

The Tab 3 8.0 is running the latest Android 4.2.2 "Jelly Bean," which already gives it a leg up on most tablets that are still stuck on 4.1.2. Samsung is relentless when it comes to its Android skin TouchWiz, but while purists might cry out, the modifications here don't really get in the way and are, for the most part, pretty useful. You get the usual bevy of pre-loaded apps and Samsung tie-ins. These include ChatOn, Samsung's chat service; Samsung's app, game, and music stores; Group Play and Samsung Link for sharing between Samsung devices; S Planner, S Translator, and S Voice; and various other apps and services.
Those are, obviously, not Google apps or services.

Update 5: There are two other examples of people using the Android Base layer and completely creating a new system on top.

The first example is the Mozilla Firefox OS. This already has two devices that are going to be publicly available. These devices are the ZTE Open and Alcatel One Touch Fire. Firefox OS has a clear basis on Android, as you can see from because the Mozilla Developer Network for Firefox OS, which has a porting guide that states that that Firefox OS is derived from the Android kernel.

The other example is the Digia product called "Boot to Qt" where the Android base layer is left intact, but the rest of the system is removed. There is a bit more detail on this from the Qt Blog post entitled "Introducing Boot to Qt – A Technology Preview."


What's Wrong With The Latest FairSearch Complaint to the EU Commision About Google? A Lot ~pj Updated 5Xs | 523 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections here please
Authored by: jesse on Thursday, July 18 2013 @ 04:21 PM EDT
Thank you.

[ Reply to This | # ]

News Pick discussions
Authored by: jesse on Thursday, July 18 2013 @ 04:22 PM EDT
Thank you.

[ Reply to This | # ]

COMES document thread
Authored by: jesse on Thursday, July 18 2013 @ 04:22 PM EDT
Thank you for the work.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off topic discussions
Authored by: jesse on Thursday, July 18 2013 @ 04:23 PM EDT
thanks to all.

[ Reply to This | # ]

maybe (more than) a touch of projection involved
Authored by: mcinsand on Thursday, July 18 2013 @ 04:32 PM EDT
I'm not surprised at all that MS sees this sort of bundling as anticompetitive,
seeing as this is the way MS dumped IE to beat Netscape back.

>>People like freedom to do what they want with their own

Somewhat true, somewhat false. Apple products look shiny, at first glance, but
the antifreedom engineering definitely tarnishes their products in my eyes.

[ Reply to This | # ]

What's Wrong With The Latest FairSearch Complaint to the EU Commision About Google? A Lot ~pj
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 18 2013 @ 04:48 PM EDT
"I doubt the EU Commission realizes this is what is at stake, if it took me
this long to figure it out, and I'm always trying to be on the alert."

I actually give them more credit than that. Whether they have already figured
it out or not, I suspect they will, especially after google explains it to

Look at all the previous efforts that fizzled, including at the FTC, where it
looked for awhile like google's enemies actually stood a chance.

[ Reply to This | # ]

What's Wrong With The Latest FairSearch Complaint to the EU Commision About Google? A Lot ~pj
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 18 2013 @ 05:15 PM EDT
What I have not seen so far is why FairSearch is on being investigated for
collusion. What the companies that make up FairSearch sure does fit the
definition of collusion.

[ Reply to This | # ]

What's Wrong With The Latest FairSearch Complaint to the EU Commision About Google? A Lot ~pj
Authored by: mikeprotts on Thursday, July 18 2013 @ 05:22 PM EDT
In the UK, we have BBC tv and radio funded by license fee (a form of taxation).
We also have ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 TV, and numerous radio stations,
funded by advertising. Despite all this free to view/listen, Sky has a huge
market for satellite subscribers for television channels, who pay a lot of

It's a very relevant comparison. Sky do complain about the competition, but
they also make a very healthy profit.

Google (like ITV) don't give away anything, they provide services in return for
allowing them to show you adverts. This works for Channel4 and Channel 5 (as
well as commercial radio). Microsoft has a business model closer to Sky where
you pay for what you want, but still have to accept a lot of adverts.

Are we going to ban ITV for showing advert funded programs? I suspect a lot of
TV stations around the world also provide free to view programming that's funded
by adverts.

I don't think Google have ever tried to claim any form of monopoly on using
advertising revenue to be able to provide end users with content with no direct
cost. Maybe this analogy would help to explain the concepts to those who need


[ Reply to This | # ]

GPL means free as in beer is NOT anti-competitive
Authored by: jbb on Thursday, July 18 2013 @ 05:38 PM EDT
I've been thinking about this too. The reason low priced items are sometimes considered anti-competitive is that they are being sold at a loss to remove competitors from the market and once the competitors are gone then the price can go through the roof. This simply can't happen with GPL software. The worst Google could do is try to charge for updates to Android. Whenever they deliver an updated Android binary then they also have to deliver or make available the GPL'ed source code. The recipient is then free to distribute the source and/or binary at a lower cost, including free. But Google's Android business model is based on giving the code away for free to manufacturers so it makes no sense for them to ever try to raise the price. If they ever do try to raise the price it will be an epic fiasco on the scale of partnering with Microsoft.

Also, it is very hypocritical of Microsoft on the one hand to complain that the GPL license is too cheap and on the other hand refuse to use the code because the cost of the license is too great for them. Microsoft is free to use Linux and Android in the products. They choose not to use it only because they don't want to obey the terms of the license. That is the cost. People are also free to fork FOSS if the original maintainer/contributor gets nasty. I believe we have seen this happen several times when Oracle tried to leverage FOSS projects they got in buyouts. This is a perfectly level playing field.

It impossible to be anti-competitive by distributing GPL'ed code or other forms of open source software. Perhaps I'm going overboard here but it reminds me a little of the non-violent resistance movement in South Africa and India. One of the things they told people before they joined was "we can't promise no one will get hurt. We can promise that only the people on our side will get hurt." In the marketplace, GPL software by its very nature cannot be anti-competitive. All the secret sauce is there in the open for everyone to see and to use. There might be anti-competitive acts in the marketplace but we can know for sure they won't involve distributing GPL'ed software. If fact, whoever is making their source code available through any open-source license cannot be anti-competitive. Although it is possible for someone to take permissively licensed code and then close it up. This is what Apple did with BSD to make OS X. Perhaps that could be seen as anti-competitive, but the people who released the source code used by Apple (and otherwise) cannot possibly be anti-competitive.

The real problem Microsoft is up against is that the open source model is much more economically efficient than their outdated closed source model. Even Microsoft is aware of this. See the Halloween Documents if you have any doubts. The only anti-competitive action here is Microsoft trying to remove a business model from the marketplace that is obviously much more economically efficient than their own. It's like a bookstore trying to outlaw libraries or private campgrounds trying to outlaw public parks and wilderness areas. Free and open source software is a gift to the people of the world that cannot be taken back. Since it can't be taken back, it can't be anti-competitive.

In a time of universal deceit -- telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
-- George Orwell

[ Reply to This | # ]

Greater insight through homonyms
Authored by: NigelWhitley on Thursday, July 18 2013 @ 05:56 PM EDT
The article quotes an article in ComputerWorld containing the remark
'"No one is really fooled. Everyone knows that [FairSearch] lies in the
shadow of Microsoft," Petit said.'

I'm pretty sure the intended meaning is that "lies" is synonymous with
"sits", but IMHO the natural meaning of "lies" when used in
conjunction with Microsoft is "deceives" and it fits perfectly here.
Nigel Whitley

[ Reply to This | # ]

What's Wrong With The Latest FairSearch Complaint to the EU Commision About Google? A Lot ~pj
Authored by: rhdunn on Thursday, July 18 2013 @ 06:11 PM EDT
Firstly, the GPL does not state you have to give the code away for free (i.e.
Free as in Freedom). It just requires you to make the source code available to
the users of your software.

Secondly, Microsoft have their own Open Source projects. For example, the WiX
project allows the developers to create Windows installer (MSI) files. According
to FairSearch's logic, this is anti-competitive to companies like InstallShield
that provide commercial products for creating Windows installers.

Not to mention that Microsoft have themselves contributed to the Linux kernel
from which Android is built on.

[ Reply to This | # ]

FairSearch and Microsoft ..
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 18 2013 @ 06:18 PM EDT
“Microsoft tried to make deals to become the default search engine on mobile devices. On Android, that was rendered impossible. They were told, Android makers, and carriers, were told, that you cannot use another default besides Google,” link

FairSearch’s members are: .. Microsoft ...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 18 2013 @ 08:10 PM EDT
Am I only that seems to feel that this resembles apple in some way?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Google's Android certification
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 18 2013 @ 09:00 PM EDT

I think I know where the bundling part of the complaint comes from. Before a device can get access to the Play Store, Google must certify the firmware. (I don't know a lot about what the certification process means, but I would guess that a large part of it is checking for malicious additions to the code.) As part of getting the Play Store, it's possible that the manufacturer may need to load a few other Google apps.

Where the argument falls down is that there is no requirement to use the Play Store. This is what Amazon and B&N have done, using the Android platform but not Google's services. I believe that a number of the cheap Chinese Android devices do the same thing.

As the article mentions, there doesn't appear to be any requirement to use Google's search as the default. It's just something that comes as part of the bundle, so is easy to integrate. There's absolutely no reason why one of the FairSearch members can't write their own app and try to get it bundled by a manufacturer.

I hope the EU looks at all of the evidence and sees the big holes in the argument. Slapping down Google for providing Android is just ridiculous.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Microsoft/FairSearch Tactic.
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 18 2013 @ 09:34 PM EDT
The goal of the campaign is to create a constant stream of
news about Google and Android that has a negative connotation
and/or wording.

I think that are trying to change the public mood about both.
Possibly miss-guide officials by skewing the tone of the
average news story.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Makes sense - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 18 2013 @ 10:29 PM EDT
    • Makes sense - Authored by: stegu on Friday, July 19 2013 @ 04:34 AM EDT
      • Its culture - Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 12:02 PM EDT
Has someone pointed this out to the SEC?
Authored by: JonCB on Thursday, July 18 2013 @ 10:31 PM EDT
“[Expedia] complained to regulators that it was largely dependent upon search engines for traffic in 2011, but in October 2010, CEO Dara Khrosrowshahi told investors that search traffic is “much less profitable traffic” than direct traffic.” [Daily Caller, 9/20/12]

(From the "who is FairSearch" link).

So... isn't this an offense? If they're trumpeting how much they're dependent on search engines and lying to their investors about it...

Or alternatively if someone relies on their public comments with FairSearch then wouldn't that fall under some form of stock manipulation law? I mean that's why Sun's CEO had to go through so many hoops to make his blog an official company blog, because you're legally required to make sure that you're not giving people the wrong impression about your stock. Right?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Google's Play Store is anticompetitive? (howls of laughter)
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 18 2013 @ 10:55 PM EDT
Apple bundles Apple's App Store with iOS
and does NOT allow other app stores on iOS
and doesn't allow most users to load
applications outside of the App Store.

Microsoft bundles Microsoft's App store
with Windows 8 (and phone) and does NOT
allow other app stores. They are similar
and make it hard for users to load
applications outside of the store (for
phone and RT at least).

Most Android phones come with Google's
Play Store. However, there are other app
stores such as Amazon's App Store can be
installed on the phone and it's easy for
users to load programs outside of the app
stores. Amazon's and Barnes and Nobles
tablets come with their own app stores
though Barnes and Noble includes Goggles
Play Store as well.

So going with FairSearch's logic Microsoft
and Apple would be anticompetitive with
bundling before Google.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Hmm... Any Other Businesses Use This Model??
Authored by: PaulOBear on Thursday, July 18 2013 @ 11:55 PM EDT
Oh, gee, let's see. How about the *razorblade* business? This is the
quintessential business which name is now synonymous with the business
practice of selling the platform (razor handle) at less than cost in order to
sell the accessories (razorblades). This model has been applied to all sorts
of industries which have consumables - printers/print cartridges, game
consoles/games, medical chemical analyzers/analytic chemicals, pulse

Another analogy would be Loss-Leader. Sell something cheap or under cost, or
*give away* in order to get people into the store to buy other things which
are more expensive or more highly marked up. There's a new one.

Android is merely the platform on which Google gathers information for
advertising. They sell it at a loss in order to get phone vendors to select
it, and then get users to buy the less expensive phones. *Anyone* who claims
that this new and interesting version of a common business model is unfair is
blowing smoke out some dark orifice hoping no one will notice. Or they are
incompetent business people. Or both. >:{=}

Actually, I'm pretty sure that these actions are more aimed at tying up
competitors' resources and attention so that Microsoft, Apple, Nokia can try
to catch up. I think it's much more of a desperation move than a legitimate
beef. Reminds me of the music and video industries.

[ Reply to This | # ]

*checking cyanogenmod*
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 19 2013 @ 03:19 AM EDT

No Nokia devices at all, on both the official and the unofficial port lists.

For a company that seems awfully concerned about consumer choice, you'd think
they'd do more to support loading alternative firmware.

That being said, it's quite telling that their complaints about consumer lockin
all relate to Google specifically, and there's nary a peep about handset
lockdown by the carriers.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I'd like to order a winpho.....
Authored by: frankieh on Friday, July 19 2013 @ 03:25 AM EDT
not really, but someone call Nokia or Microsoft and ask them to send you a Lumia
without any integration into Microsoft services.. no bing, no skydrive, no none of it..

oh wait.. they don't make that phone do they....

wonder if the EU has noticed this? At some stage they might end up paying some
more EU fines for that.. assuming people start buying their phones.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Where there's smoke
Authored by: ThrPilgrim on Friday, July 19 2013 @ 04:40 AM EDT

PJ wrote

All of this is to get you so used to being bombarded with anti-Google, anti-Google partners, anti-Android headlines, you, and the EU Commission, will imagine that where there's smoke, there must be some fire somewhere.

There is a fire. It's Microsoft burning

Beware of him who would deny you access to information for in his heart he considers himself your master.

[ Reply to This | # ]

But let us look on the bright side.
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 19 2013 @ 05:15 AM EDT
Nearly A Bezillion bucks wasted plus the damage to their credibility going forward. Link

[ Reply to This | # ]

The bundling comment is even more nonsensical
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 19 2013 @ 06:00 AM EDT
You see, Google's app suite is licensed differently than the OS. Where the OS is
open sourced, the app suite has a more restrictive license. I'm not sure exactly
how restricted the app license is, but the app suite is readily available as a
separate install from the modded ROMs.

Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure I saw a jukebox in a bar running on
android. I doubt touchtunes was required to bundle anything from google into
their firmware.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Fairsearch "Report Abuse"
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 19 2013 @ 09:28 AM EDT

I went to have a look at, and noticed they have a "report abuse" option in the navigation menu.

Assuming it was to report abuse from Fairsearch, I clicked on it

Report abuse
Witnessed Google’s anticompetitive behavior first-hand? Share your story with

ah okay, they're playing like that...Not interested in any story connected with fairness or searching unless it's an "abuse" by Google.

"Fairsearch touched me here, and here" (apologies to the Inbetweeners)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Android bundling
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 19 2013 @ 09:28 AM EDT

My complaint about bundling apps on Android has nothing to do with Google and everything to do with the Manufacturer.

I have a Samsung Galaxy S. The bundling of the apps that is on it that I don't have the choice to alter happens to be Samsung apps.

Of course, that's "choice to alter" as in "I can make use of the administrative functions on the phone as-is to alter them". I can still root the device and dump raw Android on it having full control over the apps I want installed.

    But I shouldn't have to root the device to do that!


[ Reply to This | # ]

File your own complaint about Microsoft's Free services
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 19 2013 @ 09:50 AM EDT

In fact everyone should file separately. Let the EU investigate Microsoft as

After all, we want to be Fair...


[ Reply to This | # ]

It's good to see Microsoft doing this.
Authored by: kawabago on Friday, July 19 2013 @ 01:16 PM EDT
It keeps them from doing something that might work.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Danny Sullivan does offer an interesting idea tho ...
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 19 2013 @ 01:47 PM EDT
Having Google apply for membership to FairSearch ...

Have them post the request as a memo for record on the internet and see what
happens ....

[ Reply to This | # ]

On my Android devices....
Authored by: tiger99 on Friday, July 19 2013 @ 03:59 PM EDT
..., tablet and phone, I just open a browser and go to where I want. That is how the web works, as everyone here knows very well. If I want to use Google for search, I do so. If I wanted to use Bing, I would do so. A browser does not prevent either of these being bookmarked, nor is there any prohibition on creating a Bing app for Android so you don't even need to open the browser. (But I don't imagine that many people would download such an app!)

A browser, because of what it does, is vendor-neutral. People choose the search engine that gives them the quality of results that they require. That is the true problem here. Bing is just plain naff. M$ can't compete, yet again, so they go bleating and crying foul to the authorities. That would be the same M$ that got slapped down by Neelie or her associates for not providing a browser choice in Windoze 7, and then, after a good spanking, and a promise to include it, broke it again within weeks, for a period of about a year.

Why are M$ not just trying to compete by making and advertising a Bing app for Android? Perhaps they know that only the 3 remaining fanbois would download it?

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Ah, but, - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 19 2013 @ 10:18 PM EDT
    • another, but, - Authored by: ukjaybrat on Monday, July 22 2013 @ 08:33 AM EDT
    • Ah, but, - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, July 23 2013 @ 08:14 AM EDT
      • Ah, well, - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, July 23 2013 @ 04:09 PM EDT
Free Does Not Equal Anti Competitive
Authored by: 351-4V on Friday, July 19 2013 @ 04:51 PM EDT
"part of the complaint is that it's anticompetitive to distribute Android for free"
I think dear Mr. Wallace already covered this ground with the help of his friends at FSF and IBM.

Wallace v. FSF - Wallace Loses, Must Pay Costs

[ Reply to This | # ]

My First Android Phone Had Bing
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 19 2013 @ 05:20 PM EDT
The very 1st smart phone I got was an Android phone through Verizon May 2011.
That phone was an LG Vortex with Bing as the default search and no way to get
rid of it without rooting it.

Any with other model that had default Bing search?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Can you put android on it?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 19 2013 @ 11:08 PM EDT
If you fould put android on it. ( Or even Tizen. ) I would by it if they have a
fire sale.

Mouse The Lucky Dog

[ Reply to This | # ]

One could write a book about Microsoft?
Authored by: luvr on Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 06:16 AM EDT
“Lordy, one could write a book about Microsoft.”
Only one???

[ Reply to This | # ]

Whose costs?
Authored by: dcf on Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 09:30 AM EDT

FairSearch's argument about costs make no sense.

Are they complaining about development costs, or costs to the phone manufacturers who license the OS?

Both Android and Windows phone have development costs. Google saves some money by starting with the existing linux kernel, which is free as long as you obey the GPL. Microsoft saves some money by using the existing Windows NT kernel, which is free to Microsoft. Each incurs some costs in adapting a kernel originally designed for the desktop to a low-power mobile platform. So far, no systematic cost advantage (fair or not) to either side.

Google saves some money by making Android open-source (at the cost of adopting the GPL to encourage others to contribute). Microsoft chose a closed- source development model, which allows them to charge for licensing, as well as to keep trade secrets. But that's their choice; they could always have adopted a free, open-source model.

On the distribution side, Android is free to distribute (provided you accept the conditions of the GPL). That saves the phone manufacturer money (compared to Windows Phone), but that's Microsoft's choice - nothing prevents them from licensing Windows Phone for free.

Of course, if they did that, they wouldn't collect licensing fees to offset the cost of developing Windows Phone. But Google doesn't collect licensing fees for Android, so all that would do is put Microsoft in the same boat as Google of having to pay to develop their OS.

Choosing a non-free business model allows Microsoft to pass some of its development costs on to the manufacturer, saving them money. On the other hand, it costs the manufacturer; and now they're upset that they can't get manufacturers to sign up for and promote those phones? Well, that's the price of that business model. Microsoft could always decide to take a loss on the OS development to get more market share.

Microsoft's only real complaint is that Google's market share in the advertising space allows them to subsidize the fixed development costs of Android. But the same is true of any software market where one party has a dominant market position, like desktop operating systems or office software. That's not illegal or anti-competitive; it only becomes an anti-trust issue if the dominant or monopoly party abuses its position to prevent the emergence and growth of other competitors, or to leverage their dominance in one area (e.g. operating systems) to gain a monopoly advantage in another area (e.g. internet). On that score, Microsoft has a long record of misconduct (and conviction), but Google (despite Microsoft's efforts) does not.

[ Reply to This | # ]

What's Wrong With The Latest FairSearch Complaint to the EU Commision About Google? A Lot ~pj Updated 2Xs
Authored by: JamesK on Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 08:24 AM EDT
"Where do they get these names? Fairness doesn't seem to me to be what
FairSearch is after."

Compare that with "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" for North
Korea or "German Democratic Republic", the name of the former East
Germany. Tyrannical and repressive states tend to pick nice sounding names.
Same thing here.

The following program contains immature subject matter.
Viewer discretion is advised.

[ Reply to This | # ]

What's Wrong With The Latest FairSearch Complaint to the EU Commision About Google? A Lot ~pj Updated 2Xs
Authored by: PR3J on Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 09:42 AM EDT

I have 2 Kurio´s for my kids and they have only a kid´s safe store on them.

I found a way to install Google Store to get some of the games my kids wanted, but it was far from a simple task. Actually you have to logon with the parent account, run out from Kurio´s interface to Android console, upload a hard to find path with the google store using an USB connection and so on.

how to install Google Play in Kurio7

The needed file was here

It was possible, but it was not easy for someone with few tech skils.

"[T]he IQ of a mob is the IQ of its most stupid member, divided by the number of mobsters." - Terry Pratchet - Maskerade

[ Reply to This | # ]

Remember GPLd code is not free, it's only cashless.
Authored by: BitOBear on Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 03:24 PM EDT
When you license something like Microsoft WinCE (don't blame me, I didn't name
it wince 8-) you pay money up-front and money per-unit on the back-end.

When you license GPLd code you pay nothing up-front, and you pay _disclosure_ on
the back-end. That is, you "pay" the "value you add".

Both of these things are an expression of expenditures. Money paid for result.
In the former you agree to cash pricing and you get secrecy. In the latter you
agree to forgo secrecy and you get minimal cash outlay, particularly up-front.

(ASIDE: BSD style licenses are free-of-cost at both ends; the amount of growth
of BSD system is demonstrably lower. Draw your own conclusions there.)

So the actual bet is this. If I expect to add more to the system than I got
"for free", then I would want the paid license with its known up-front
and per-unit costs, which let me keep and conserve my "added value"
such that people would have to come directly to me to get those features.

If, however, I expect to make fewer modifications and additions to the code than
I got "for free", then the GPL model serves me best. That disclosure
means that people will not have to come to me for my additions.

The vendor of the GPL material gets paid the sum of all the work-hour value of
all the distributed modifications to the original system. The value they reap is
the incremental output of their entire customer base. It's actually a lot of
valuable returns.

So it's a super simple and quite business applicable to go with either of those
models. The proprietary model is very like the sale of mineral wealth, where you
get fixed monetary returns; while the GPL model is very like farming, where you
put out seed, and get back more seed in kind along.

Since most phone makers, just like most anything makers, are not interested in
making Operating Systems, they have very low expectations for
improvement-hours-spent on the operating system. So the GPL model is the
conservative choice. The phone manufacturer is likely to only end up paying for
a few dozen or hundred man hours to port and tune the operating system. The cost
is therefore capped.

The core flaw in the complaint is the claim that the price of Android is
"artificially low" (or more absurdly "free of cost altogether)
when the truth is that the price is in line with the cost. Android costs
disclosure, and most of android actually cost disclosure from someone else. The
linux kernel was publicly disclosed; the Java spec was publicly disclosed; all
the contributed code was publicly disclosed; and so forth.

The natural cost of being the controlling entity (the primary distributor) is
non-zero. The cost is good stewardship by Google and some man-hours of effort;
The return for those man hours is brand recognition and, indeed, the
pride-of-place for their ad-revenue generating market and apps.

People keep making anti-business claims against open source but that's usually
the sign of people who don't understand business despite being in the business

The zeroth rule of business is "know what businesses you are _not_
in". Phone makers, and other hardware vendors, are in the hardware sales
business. They are not, and don't want to be, in the business of making (and
supporting, and patching) operating systems.

Of course GPL is a better deal for them.

The buggy-whip makers complain that the horseless carriage will put them out of
business. Yes? And? That's what happens when a better product comes along.

That's business.

[ Reply to This | # ]

What's Wrong With The Latest FairSearch Complaint to the EU Commision About Google? A Lot ~pj Updated 4Xs
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 09:43 PM EDT
RE: HTC Legend.
Nearly all Android phones let you install apps from outside
the app store. On my phone it is under settings/security. This
allows people to distribute apps via email attachments (or any
other way you want to distribute a file) and install, which is
very helpful for development/beta/personal apps and also
contributes to the existence of piracy of Android apps.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Amazon Kindle Fire and Nook
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 22 2013 @ 02:07 AM EDT
Don't the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Barnes and Noble Nook
also prove that Fairsearch's complaints are spurious. The
key parts of Android is open source and is available free to
all of Google's competitors to use freely. They can also
incorporate whatever Search Engine, default Apps, look and
feel, branding, and App Market that they want with Android.

It is ridiculous that the Fairsearch lobby organisation can
claim that Android is in any way anti-competitive. What they
are lobbying for is for unfair protection for their
uncompetitive proprietary software vendor clients, against
competitors who use the more efficient and cost effective
open source development model - the model and codebase that
is also available to them free and on the same terms as
their competitors if they choose to adopt it. This is not
what anti-trust law is about. Anti-trust law is not about
protecting and preserving uncompetitive, inefficient or
outdated methodologies, practices or companies. It is about
ensuring free competition without unfair restriction to
competition, in a level playing field.

[ Reply to This | # ]

vendors forced to include
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 22 2013 @ 04:43 PM EDT

...doesn't have the Android Market, for which is was criticized. So obviously, the complaint that vendors are forced to include it is wrong...
No, the complaint is right - the vendors were forced to include it...just it was forced by the [buying] customers, not Google.

Fairsearch (sic) seem to be of the assumption that the customers (end users) are so thick and/or only want what they are told they want (1984 anyone?) and can't make their own decisions and wants known.

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Another way Fairsearch is lying?
Authored by: maroberts on Wednesday, July 24 2013 @ 04:49 AM EDT
As Fairsearch includes Nokia, which was paid several hundred million by
Microsoft to drop its own phone systems based on "below cost" Linux,
is it not lying in its statements that it cannot compete with the "below
cost" Android?

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What's Wrong With The Latest FairSearch Complaint to the EU Commision About Google? A Lot ~pj Updated 5Xs
Authored by: HP on Tuesday, July 30 2013 @ 07:53 AM EDT
I suggest writing to the EU Commission, to make sure they understand what is at issue. Here's the page that lists who to write to:....
The page states:
In all your correspondence, please specify the name of the case and the case number.
What is the correct reference to use?


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