Antitrust Lawsuit Targets Google Search on Android
May 2, 2014, 7:30 AM by Eric M. Zeman
Google has been socked with a nationwide antitrust lawsuit filed by consumer advocate lawyers. The law firm, Hagens Berman, alleges that Google illegally manipulated the market for mobile search through its Mobile Application Distribution Agreement. Google gives the Android operating system away for free, but in order to take advantage of Google Services handset makers have to sign the MADA. Google preloads its own apps, including Search, YouTube, Gmail, Play Store, and others, on Android devices made by companies that have signed the MADA. The lawyers suggest Google used the MADA to force its services onto Android devices and into the hands of consumers, rather than allow them to choose - and artificially raised handset prices in the process. "Anyone can use Android without Google and anyone can use Google without Android," said Google in a statement provided to Reuters. "Since Android's introduction, greater competition in smartphones has given consumers more choices at lower prices." Nokia, now owned by Microsoft, has done exactly this with the Nokia X family of handsets, which run Android but don't include Google Services. Nokia chose to substitute Microsoft's services for Google's. It's unclear what resolution Hagens Berman expects to achieve with the lawsuit.
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