Play Store Competitor Files Antitrust Complaint Against Google
One of the biggest benefits of Android is that it doesn't restrict you to the Play Store for your app needs. Users can select from a wide range of app stores, which are often a part of some heavily customised Android forks such as Samsung Experience and MIUI. The downside to it is that it opens up the possibility of users downloading potentially malicious apps from shady source. At times, even apps downloaded off the Play Store engage in harmful behaviour (we're looking at you, flashlight apps that request call log permissions)
To mitigate some of the damage caused by said apps, Google put in place some measures that ensure apps don't engage in questionable behaviour. Labelled as Play Protect, we saw the system go live last year, and things have been good so far. Play Protect has been largely successful and has kept several bad apps off the Play Store. However, Alternative app marketplace Aptoide has been flagged as malicious, and that didn't go down well with the company. According to Bloomberg :
Aptoide said the Android antivirus program, Google Play Protect, was nudging users through a notification to uninstall the app store from their devices, warning them the program could download harmful apps. For those that choose to keep Aptoide despite the warning, the app store no longer functions and can’t install apps, the company said.
Aptoide said it filed a complaint against Google to the European Commission, the bloc’s antitrust authority, earlier this week. Lisbon-based Aptiode states that Google is engaging in anti-competitive behaviours by deliberately disallowing users from downloading apps. Due to the app being marked as unsafe, users are unable to download apps via Aptiode and currently, there is no workaround for it. There are several ways to bypass Play Protect, but it often involves getting rid of the Play Store altogether which is beyond the scope of most users. There isn't any mention of any monetary compensation in the lawsuit yet. We'll keep you posted when we know more.
News Source: Android Police