Disconnect has filed a complaint to EU antitrust regulators against Google’s ban on its privacy app, accusing the Silicon Valley giant of abusing its dominant market position.
Disconnect was set up four years ago by former Google engineers, says its app protects users of the Android operating system from invisible tracking and malware distributed through advertisements.
However Google had abused its position by blocking the app from the Google Play store last year, and had gained an unfair advantage over competitors by integrating its own privacy and security services into its own products.
Disconnect Chief Executive Casey Oppenheim said that Google claimed that the software interfered with the ability of third parties to serve ads and was unwilling to engage in a dialogue.
Google said Disconnect’s complaint was groundless and said that Google Play policies had long prohibited apps that interfere with other apps – such as altering their functionality, or removing their way of making money.
The European Commission, which opened a probe into Google’s agreements with smartphone and tablet makers using its Android operating system in April, confirmed it had received the complaint and said it would assess it.
Question is, why did Disconnect have to complain in the EU rather than its native US? The US regulators have been comparatively soft on Google, while the EU has been actively looking into its doings.