Eurobites: Brussels Gunning for Google Over Android Dominance

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Sky plugs virtual reality app; Facebook plans Danish data center; 100G upgrade for Libyan connection; CityFibre picks a partner in the Midlands.

  • The EU's competition authority is going to come down hard on Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) over what some have alleged is abuse of its dominant Android operating system, according to a Reuters report. A document seen by Reuters suggests that the EU will force the search giant to stop paying financial incentives to smartphone makers to pre-install Google's Play Store with Google Search on their devices, and possibly hit Google with a large fine based on revenue generated by the company's AdWords paid-for search results program.

  • Is virtual reality finally going to make it into the living rooms of the many and not just the enthusiastic few? That seems to be the way the wind is blowing, with Sky launching its OCS VR offering earlier this month and now Sky serving up its new app, Sky VR, which showcases a range of "immersive" 360-degree videos from Sky as well as content from Sky affiliates such as Disney's The Jungle Book. The app is available for anyone to download on a compatible mobile from Google Play or the App Store, and can be used with a Google Cardboard headset, Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift headsets.

  • Telecom Italia Sparkle and the Libyan International Telecommunications Company (LITC) have completed the 100G upgrade of the bilateral cable connecting Libya to Europe via Sicily. The upgrade is partly a response to the growing demand for data services in Libya, said LITC Chairman Dr. Mohmoud Alaujali.

  • Odense in Denmark is to be location for Facebook 's third non-US data center, creating around 1,200 construction jobs, Reuters reports. The social media behemoth opened a data center in Sweden in 2013 and is currently building another in Ireland. The addition of further European data centers could help Facebook avoid the legal argy-bargy of the sort instigated by Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems, who wasn't happy about his Facebook data being sent across the Atlantic and ended up prompting the European Commission to change the whole framework governing Europe-US data transfers. (See Eurobites: Facebook Faces Privacy Class Action.)

  • CityFibre 's partnership frenzy continues: Today the UK "altnet" has signed three new launch partner agreements with Onecom, a unified communications specialist, on its existing metro networks in the cities of Coventry, Leicester and Nottingham. The contract runs for five years, and has an initial value of £3.2 million (US$4.1 million). (See CityFibre Aims High in BT Battle.)

  • Linkem, an Italian broadband operator, is to deploy what it claims is the largest fixed wireless access network in Europe in Rome, reaching 1.4 million households in the city with its 4G LTE-based service. The company says it already has 400,000 subscribers using its network in other parts of the country.

  • Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN)'s maritime unit has acquired SatPoint, a provider of VSAT-based broadband satellite communication and IT services for sea-faring customers. Telenor hopes the acquisition will bolster its presence in the Baltic Sea.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • Kelsey Ziser 10/6/2016 | 2:54:01 PM
    Google Play Store Interesting news about the Google Play Store - does that have any impact on how much bloatware they load on Android phones?
    Sign In