Aptoide accuses Google of not playing fair with alternative app stores
Google and Apple have control over the two major players in the smartphone operating system game. Even though Google doesn’t control Android as much as Apple controls iOS, they can still require partners to follow certain rules if they want to use major parts of what makes Android popular. Abusing these rules have gotten them into some trouble in the past, but they’ve made some major changes to regional versions of Android to abide by those laws. Today, we have learned that Aptoide is accusing Google of treating alternative app stores (including its own) unfairly.
It doesn’t help that Google is reportedly already involved in some investigations with the Department of Justice in the United States. The DoJ hasn’t announced anything official as of yet, but multiple news outlets have reported on the matter. In this situation, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will be handling the investigation and may focus on Google’s search business (specifically about how it arranges search results). This investigation makes a lot of sense since President Trump has accused Google of favoring “liberal media” in political search results instead of, say, Fox News.
Now, as far as Aptoide is concerned, they too feel that Google is abusing its power, but in this situation, it has to do with alternative app stores. We have our own alternative app store here at XDA called XDA Labs and Aptoide has one of their own as well. F-Droid is another popular alternative app store, but it is Apptoide that is currently stepping up and calling foul. The folks behind the alternative app store originally filed a complaint with the EU back in 2014 but they still don’t seem happy.
Aptoide is accusing Google of labeling its app store as a harmful application, hiding it from users’ devices, and then suggesting that they uninstall it. We’re told this move has caused a 20% decrease in unique Aptoide users and therefore this move exhibits anti-competitive behavior.
To help spread the word, the company has created the website GooglePlayFair.com, which reminds us of the website Spotify created about Apple earlier this year.