Google's antitrust woes aren't showing any signs of stopping, with rival Android app store Aptoide launching a full-on campaign against alleged unfair treatment by the tech giant. Back in October last year, Aptoide gained an injunction against Google in a Portuguese court after a Play Protect notice warning users that the alternative might be unsafe. Now, Aptoide is upping the ante.
The campaign can be found at googleplayfair.com, and accuses Google of "preventing users from freely choosing their preferred app store." On the site, Aptoide goes on to outline evidence supporting its assertion that the apps it distributes are safe, including an independent study by a Japanese university and verification that its APKs are trustworthy by antivirus aggregator VirusTotal. It also calls out Google for not providing any information about why the app was flagged, saying Aptoide has received no communication in response to its queries.
Aptoide's site also points to the record $5 billion antitrust fine given to Google by the European Commission last summer to back up its claims and show that the US company has already proven guilty of anti-competitiveness and ignoring users' freedom of choice in order to further its own dominance (in that case, regarding preinstalled apps and services on Android phones).
In an interview with TechCrunch, Aptoide co-founder and CEO Paulo Trezentos said Google's action had resulted in a 15-20% drop in user base since June 2018. It's hoped that the new site and corresponding campaign against Google will "bring visibility to this situation and help other startups that may be under the same circumstances."