Antitrust lawsuit dismissed against Google’s app bundling

Lindsey Caldwell - Apr 5, 2015, 8:50 pm CDT
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Antitrust lawsuit dismissed against Google’s app bundling

The latest class action antitrust lawsuit against Google has been tabled. The dismissed lawsuit was just one among many to hit Google such as a class action suit about Google Wallet’s privacy practices, libel accusations for offending autocomplete suggestions, and copyright infringement for book digitization. The lawsuit in question alleges that Google made illegal contracts with device makers which forced Android OS to use Google’s apps as default settings. The suit then further alleges that these backroom deals drove up consumer prices of these smartphones due to restricting competition.

This is, of course, aside from the myriad of patent infringement suits that Google is assailed with, constantly. Google is also facing a dangerous verdict in Europe. The EU might hand down a $6 billion USD fine and could decouple Google search engine from its other businesses like Android. This stands in sharp contract to the U.S. FTC’s kid gloved handling of similar antitrust allegations.

Its dismissal, in California, by Judge Beth Labson Freeman is due to the plaintiffs inability to substantiate claims that Google forced illegal, prohibitive contracts onto mobile device makers.
After Google filed papers stating that Android devices can be used without Google apps, the plaintiff’s claim was disallowed. Secondly, the suit’s claim that higher priced devices arise from backroom deals stifling competition was deemed to be without merit by the judge.

Google counters the accusation as its representative, Aaron Stein, relayed, “since Android’s introduction, greater competition in smartphones has given consumers more choices at lower prices.” He may be right, at least in comparison to Apple. Google’s Android OS has opened the door for a number of strong competitors to take on Apple’s iPhone. A slew of companies’ flagship smartphones and tablets are based on Android, creating a veritable army of iOS competitors.

Source: Reuters


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