Google’s fallout with Turkey: Turkey’s new Android phones will not be able to use Google services

In the early morning of December 17, after the Turkish Competition Commission ruled that Google’s modification of its contract was unacceptable, Google told its Turkish business partners that the company would not be able to cooperate with them on future new Android phones released in Turkey.

In September 2018, the Turkish Competition Commission fined Google 93 million liras (about $17.4 million) for violating competition laws with its mobile software sales. At the time, the committee ordered Google to make reforms within six months to restore competition.

Turkey’s Competition Commission ruled on Nov. 7 this year that changes Google made to contracts with business partners at the commission’s request were insufficient, as the company was still not allowed to change the default search engine. Google said in a statement: “We have notified business partners that we will not be able to work with them to develop new Android phones for the Turkish market.” The statement also said: “Consumers will be able to purchase existing device models and use them as normal. Its devices and apps. Google’s other services will not be affected.” Google also added that it was working with authorities to resolve the issue.

Google made the announcement through a Turkish PR firm, which provided Google’s statement to Reuters.

The Turkish Competition Commission said it had fined Google the equivalent of 0.05% of its daily revenue for the breach, which will remain in effect until Google meets all requirements. Google has 60 days to challenge the ruling.

The commission launched an investigation into Google after its Russian rival Yandex filed a filing and ordered it to revise all software distribution agreements to allow consumers to choose a different search engine in its Android mobile operating system. Turkish media previously reported that Google shared the contact details of Turkey’s trade minister and the head of the competition commission in a letter to business partners, calling on them to put pressure on it to change the ruling.

In January 2019, Turkey’s Competition Commission also said it had launched an investigation into whether Google’s algorithms for search advertising and targeted advertising violated competition laws. The committee said the probe was launched after complaints that Alphabet’s Google unit “abused its dominant position to make efforts by other companies difficult.”

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