Google and Skyhooks are fighting in court over Google blocking Skyhooks from being used on Android devices. The move came after Skyhooks, and Motorola signed a deal that some claim Google feared. Google later blocked the use of Skyhooks for Motorola claiming that the GPS data was “contaminated.” The fight landed in court with Skyhooks alleging that Google blocked the use of Skyhooks service as a way to control the GPS data that Android users access.
Skyhooks claims that once Google realized its own GPS tracking tech wasn’t competitive that Google moved to undermine Skyhooks and destroy its position in the market. The court case rages on today and as part of the legal proceedings some internal email documents from Google have been pulled into the fight. These emails show just how afraid Google was of Skyhooks according to some. Google notified Motorola that Skyhooks renders the Droid X no longer Android compatible and used that compatibility issue to force Motorola to ditch Skyhooks.
The alternative for Motorola was to use Google’s own location services. One of the emails reportedly quotes an unnamed Android manager stating that, “we are using compatibility as a club to make them [device markers] do things we want.” Google maintains that the complaints in the suit are baseless and nothing more than an attempt to get internal Google documents and emails into the public eye.