Consumer rights law firm Hagens Berman said it filed a nationwide antitrust class-action lawsuit against Google Inc alleging the company “illegally monopolized” the Internet and mobile search market in the United States.
The lawsuit alleges that Google has expanded its monopoly of the internet search market by pre-loading its applications onto Android mobile devices through its Mobile Application Distribution Agreements.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in San Jose, California. The policies in question are related to the mobile application distribution agreements” (MADAs) that manufacturers have with Google, and they set the guidelines that need to be followed in order to use Android.
According to the complaint, “Google’s expansion of its monopoly in search on smartphones, which helps through paid search-related advertisements to generate billions of dollars of profit a year, is ‘not merely a function of having built a better search engine.’ The ‘secret’ MADAs require that each Android device maker ‘pre-loads onto prime screen real estate all of the apps in the suite, whether the manufacturer wants them or not.’”
Google wrote in a statement simply that the introduction of Android has created greater competition, and offered consumers more choices, “Anyone can use Android without Google and anyone can use Google without Android.”
However, Steve Berman, the plaintiff’s attorney said that “Google had not achieved its monopoly by offering a better search engine, but through anti-competitive placement and market manipulation.”
The argument is akin to the Internet Explorer browser lawsuits that Microsoft contended with years ago. Except in this case, it is not just about “search” but Google’s whole suite of apps, from Drive, to Google Play, to YouTube. In so doing, Google has “illegally monopolized” the internet.
We will not dive in to the legalese, but suspect that the MADAs have been scrutinized by armies of attorneys for Google and the manufacturers. Since we have seen the Android Open Source Project be the foundation of products like Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD tablets, perhaps a forthcoming smartphone, and Nokia’s new line of X phones, it will be interesting to see what direction this lawsuit turns.Google faces antitrust lawsuit for U.S. mobile internet search monopolyhttp://www.gadgetcluster.com/2014/05/google-faces-antitrust-lawsuit-for-u-s-mobile-internet-search-monopoly/http://i1.wp.com/www.gadgetcluster.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/lawsuit.jpg?fit=580%2C380http://i1.wp.com/www.gadgetcluster.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/lawsuit.jpg?resize=150%2C150 GOOGLE