Google Faces Lawsuit Over Mobile Search Monopoly Allegations
Published on: 4th May 2014
Google is facing a possible class action lawsuit over how it preloads its own search tools into Android smartphones.
A US law firm, Hagens Berman alleges that Google illegally monopolized, and financially and creatively stagnated the American market of internet and mobile search.
The lawyers say that through its purchase of the Android platform, Google has used that to push its own apps into smartphones.
However, the lawsuit also claims that it has "kept the price of devices made by competing device manufactures like Samsung and HTC artificially high." without really explaining how that was possible.
The complaint claims that if device manufacturers bound by Google's distribution agreements were free to choose a default search engine other than Google, the overall quality of Internet search would improve.
According to the lawsuit, Google's agreements with handset manufacturers are contracts in restraint of trade that are designed to maintain and extend its monopolies in general search and handheld general search.
The lawsuit has not been formally filed yet, and the lawyers are currently seeking people to join in the legal action so that it can be considered with a court.
While there is no doubt that Google does encourage handset vendors to preload Google search services into Android phones, they are not actually required to do so. The pressure is more likely to be competitive, as consumers simply expect there to be a Google search function inside Android phones.