Once more, an antitrust probe is being planned against Google by US Regulators after the recent accusation made by Aptoide. Previously, many app developers and organizations have made the accusation that Google uses its position to get rid of their competition. Let’s take a deep dive and find out what’s the deal with this Antitrust abuse by Google.
What Did Aptoide Claim?
Just like the Google Play Store, Aptoide is another Portugal based application marketplace. They provide Android users the option to browse for apps and download whatever they want through their store. They first made the claim and filed a complaint via EU antitrust in 2014. The complaint was supported by other app stores who stated that Google is playing foul and trying to suppress them. Because of the EU’s intervention, Google was fined $5 billion.
It is being observed that Google did not learn anything in spite of the fine. Aptoide developers claim that Google started flagging their app as harmful and hid it from the users. In many cases, Android requests the users for uninstalling the application. Even when the Android users went to the settings and list Aptoide among the trusted apps, still the installation is blocked. If you try to override the warning, it won’t work as well. Since Aptoide is blocked from installing apps by Google. The only way to resolve this is to visit the Play Protect settings and turn it off for all other apps.
Result of This Incorrect Flagging
Many users are not technically that much advanced. They only trust what Google shows them. Because of this incorrect flagging, Aptoide lost 20% of its users. They had 222 million active users in 2018. In May 2019 the number of monthly active users went down to 56 million. They were able to compensate this loss a little bit from new partnerships and with gaining new users, but they are stuck with a barrier to their path of growth.
What are the Steps Taken by Aptoide?
This “unsafe marking” is basically illogical. Since security researchers marked APtoide to be completely safe. Even Virus Total, a Google-owned company states that Aptoide is 100% secure and Google is only removing it because they don’t want any other organization to distribute apps in the Android marketplace. Restricting apps like this is completely against the open source policy of Android.
Aptoide developers hosted googleplayfair.com. The website has detailed information about how Google takes down its competitors by unethical practices. After they filed the cases, Portugal court ordered Google to stop these malpractices. But Google did not listen. For now, Aptoide is willing to cooperate with US authorities and present them with factual data regarding this anti-competitive behavior. We have to just wait and see how the Antitrust Probe by US authorities works against the tech giant.