Google, Turkey working to bridge competition rift
Google is working with Turkish officials to resolve an issue involving preloaded Android apps for smart devices "as quickly as possible," the tech giant said on Dec. 16, adding that the effect of the issue is limited to newly introduced phone models, not existing ones.
The company stressed that the issue has no effect on current users of Android phones or people who buy smartphone models that already use Android software.
“Existing device models remain on sale and will operate as normal. Existing devices and apps will also continue to operate and receive updates as normal. Google's other products and services remain unaffected,” it said in a statement.
In September 2018, Turkey’s competition board fined Google 93 million Turkish liras ($15 million) for violating competition law related to the offering of Android, its mobile operating system, as well as mobile apps and services.
This March the board opened an investigation over claims Google uses abusive tactics against its rivals.
In November, the board ruled that the changes Google made to its agreements with Android partners in Turkey based on the earlier ruling fell short, and so the company cannot continue to operate in Turkey under business as usual.
Underlining that the company aims to “immediately” comply with Turkish law, Google said:
"To do this, we have informed our partners that we have stopped approving new Android device models for launch in Turkey."
During ongoing work to resolve the issue, new device models with Google services cannot launch in Turkey, but existing device models remain on sale and will continue to operate as normal, the company stressed.