According to Reuters, a legal scuffle between Google and Turkey is having some unwelcome consequences. According to Google, future Android devices launched in the country will not support Google apps, at least as of right now.
Google sent out a message to its Turkish partners regarding the policy update.
“We’ve informed our business partners that we will not be able to work with them on new Android phones to be released for the Turkish market,” a Google statement said. “Consumers will be able to purchase existing device models and will be able to use their devices and applications normally. Google’s other services will be unaffected.”
Google and Turkey are in the middle of negotiations to resolve the problem.
The problem stems from antitrust issues Turkey raised with Google in 2018. In September of that year, the country penalized Google to the tune of 93 million lira (~$17.4 million) for violating competition law with its mobile software sales. Google had six months to address this problem.
Google did change its policies related to the financial penalty, but apparently it did not meet all of Turkey’s requirements, which included allowing users to change the default search engine on their handsets.
As punishment for not meeting Turkey’s requirements related to that previously mentioned fine, Google would need to pay a fine equivalent to 0.05% of its per-day revenue in Turkey going forward. This is likely the primary reason why Google is halting any support for new handsets in Turkey.
This antitrust issue between Google and Turkey is nothing new for the company. Over the past few years, Google has faced increased scrutiny from the European Commission related to its competition policies and regulators here in the US are reportedly thinking of pursuing similar litigation.