An American consumer advocacy group, Consumer Watchdog, wrote to Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, on 24 January, to ask him to ban Google’s proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobile (see separate article). “Google controls 95% of the mobile search market.
There is evidence it is pressuring handset manufacturers to favour Google applications when using the Android operating system,” reads the letter from John M. Simpson, the association’s privacy project director.
He warns that “If Google’s unfettered absorption of companies, and the consumer information that comes with them, continues [...] the ever-increasing consumer information database Google is compiling will only strengthen its dominance over the ad server market”.
The Consumer Watchdog official adds that he has more faith in the capacity of the European Commission to block the transaction than in US officials, given Google’s close relationships with the latter. Google spent US$ 9.7 million on lobbying in 2011.