FairSearch Europe—a coalition of Google competitors or legal adversaries including, among others, Microsoft, Nokia, and Oracle—has filed a complaint with the European Union alleging that Google is abusing its dominant OS position in the mobile market to push its own set of apps.
The group claims that Android is used "as a deceptive way to build advantages for key Google apps in 70 percent of the smartphones shipped today," pointing out that manufacturers have to agree to a certain set of rules requiring inclusion or placement of certain apps. If they want to use Google apps, of course. Manufacturers are free to use Android for whatever purpose they choose without them, if they think that will be a greater benefit. Though, admittedly, it rarely is.
The complaint alleges that Android is a 'Trojan Horse' that is attempting to "monopolize the mobile marketplace, and control consumer data." However, it's unclear just how Android is distinct from other OSes on this front, aside from the option to use Android without Google. Indeed, one part of the group's blog post on the matter suggests that Google is distributing Android at "below-cost," implying that if manufacturers were charged a fee (as Microsoft does), then suddenly Windows Phone would be on level ground. The result of the free OS, however, "makes it difficult for other providers of operating systems to recoup investments in competing with Google’s dominant mobile platform." Indeed, Microsoft has not seen much monetary success with Windows Phone, though it's long been suspected that the company makes more from Android than it does its own platform.
The complaint comes as the EU is already trying to close one antitrust investigation against Google regarding search results. As the complaints out of Fair Search Europe grow in scope, the organization morphs even more from a simple promoter of equal search engine rights to an obviously anti-Google group. Though, given the big money backers, this isn't a surprise. Regardless of your stance on just how "evil" Google is, this should be kept in mind when complaints are brought up.
Still, the broader point that Google controls Android inadvertently through its services is not an unfair one. In fact, it's the primary reason there's little reason for Mountain View to be concerned over things like Facebook Home. This is a double-edged sword, though. Microsoft will never adopt Android as its main OS, and it loses the ability to sell its own platform if it creates Android versions of its best apps.
But then, what's the solution? You can have an integrated platform of an operating system with a complete set of apps, but only if you're not successful on a global scale with it? That...kinda sucks.