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EC Adds Android to Growing List of Google Grievances

EC Adds Android to Growing List of Google Grievances

Today in international tech news: The European Commission has added Google's Android to its list of grievances; Apple finds a way to avoid the fights and egg-tossing that had marred previous product launches in China; Australia's Sex Party is ticked about Google refusing to run its ads; and for the first time, more Chinese access the Internet via mobile phone than desktops.

By David Vranicar
07/20/12 9:16 AM PT

The European Commission's antitrust allegations against Google could force the company to make changes to its Android phones, according to The Financial Times.

Google has proposed changes to its search engines results to avoid fines, but EC competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia has apparently now included changes to Android as part of any agreement, according to FT.

The EC's initial complaints about Google revolved around search engine results, restricting advertisers from moving campaigns to rivals' search engines and lifting content without attribution or permission. Now you can add Android to the list.

Reservations, Not Fights, for China iPad Release

Friday's release of the iPad in China wasn't nearly as tumultuous as releases past.

Apple used a new reservation system to squelch the drama surrounding previous product launches, according to ComputerWorld.

Operating on a first come, first serve basis, Apple had run into problems in China. In January, for instance, Apple halted sales of its iPhone after a "near-riot" -- and a bunch of egg-throwing -- at a Beijing Apple store. And in May 2011, iPhones caused a melee in Beijing that resulted in four people going to the hospital.

No such drama this time around. Apple issued reservation numbers to customers, who were given specific times to show up to claim their product, according to ComputerWorld. Apple employees checked the IDs of customers and let them enter in small groups.

The latest iPads have been available in the U.S. for months. However, the Chinese release was slowed by an IP dispute between Apple and China-based Proview, which claimed that it had naming rights to "iPad" in China. Apple settled that case earlier this month for US$60 million.

No Sex Party for Us, We're Google

Australia's Sex Party, a national political party roughly similar to the Libertarian Party, has threaten legal action against Google for the company's refusal to run the party's ads on its search engine, according Australian outlet The Age.

The Sex Party, which is particularly sensitive to censorship, was barred from running ads with Google because its webpage has a "donate" button. Alas, Google only allows the solicitation of funds from tax-exempt organizations.

The party has been negotiating with Google, but a by-election, or special election, is being held Saturday, so little is likely to be done now.

Founded in 2009, the Sex Party won 2.04 percent of the national senate vote in 2010. Candidate Fiona Patten has describe the party as the "major minor party" in the nation.

Economy at Root of Vodaphone's Missed Estimates

UK-based telecommunications company Vodaphone missed first-quarter estimates because of a slumping economy, according to Bloomberg.

Service revenue for Vodaphone, the world's second biggest mobile phone company, gained 0.6 percent, missing the 0.8 estimates experts had expected.

Customers in Spain and Italy, two countries slammed by the European debt crisis, have cut spending, Bloomberg reported, and growth in India, which had been solid, has slowed. First-quarter service sales in Italy and Spain dropped 7.7 and 10 percent, respectively.

Mobile Phone Tops for Chinese Web

For the first time, mobile phones -- and not desktop computers -- are China's leading method for getting online, according to the BBC.

Citing a report from the China Internet Network Information Center, the BBC says the plunge in mobile phone prices is responsible for the boom in mobile phone Internet use. A reported 388 million people now connect to the Internet via mobile phones.


Tech Trek is a blog that looks at tech news from around the world. David Vranicar is a freelance journalist currently living in the Netherlands. His ECT News Network archive, with links to articles and podcasts, is available here. You can email him at david.vranicar@newsroom.ectnews.com



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