FILE PHOTO: An illuminated Google logo is seen inside an office in Zurich, Switzerland, 5 December 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – the Czech search engine Seznam urged Google on Friday to disclose more details about its plan to promote rival search apps in the Android smartphones, saying that it continued to lose users as a result of what he said were Google’s anti-competitive practices.
Seznam, which draws as much advertising as Google in the Czech Republic, took his complaint to the European Commission nearly three years ago.
It subsequently joined the lobbying group FairSearch, whose complaint prompted the European Commission investigation into Google’s Android mobile operating system, which eventually led to a record 4.34 billion euros ($4.9 billion) fine.
“Time is running out, every day makes a difference. Seznam is the loss of market share by the Google search engine installed by default on mobile phones,” said Michal Feix, Seznam, the former chief executive and now a partner at a consulting firm, advising the company.
The EU antitrust enforcers said Google, a unit of the Alphabet Inc., had the Android market power to prevent competitors.
Google’s senior vice-president of global affairs, Kent Walker, said in a blog this week that his company planned to prompt users to choose their favorite browsers and search apps, but he did not provide details.
Feix welcomed the idea in principle. “It’s probably the solution we are looking for, but it depends on the details. Walker’s blog was missing the details,” he said.
Google spokesman Al Verney declined to comment.
Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Edmund Blair