Indie label bodies WIN and Impala are hoping the European Commission will investigate YouTube over its licensing practices, but parent company Google already has one major regulatory investigation in Europe to contend with, and another possibly on the way. The company has been locked in negotiations with EC antitrust commissioner Joaquin Almunia for years over complaints about promoting its own services through its search engine – a case that’s expected to either be settled or taken forward to court later this year. Now reports are suggesting that Almunia – who is due to step down soon – may as his parting shot open a new investigation into whether Google is abusing its position in the smartphone market, with its Android software. At issue: whether the company is forcing Android device makers to preload and give prominence to Google services, rather than their own. If an investigation is launched – and it’s still an if, despite chattering sources in Brussels – there may be implications for digital music services keen to strike preload deals with Android device manufacturers.

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