U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman in San Jose, California dismissed an antitrust lawsuit that accused Google of forcing device manufacturers that use its Android operating system to include a bundle of the company’s apps and make its search engine the default option.
The two consumers who filed the lawsuit claimed that Google made companies use its own apps in favor of those created by competitors (such as Microsoft Corp’s Bing).
This in turn, they said, has caused limited competition in the search engine market, reducing innovation and driving the price of smartphones up as Google’s rivals do not have the same “prime real estate” that it has with its apps.
“Their alleged injuries – supracompetitive prices and threatened loss of innovation and consumer choice – are not the necessary means by which defendant is allegedly accomplishing its anticompetitive ends,” Freeman wrote.
Freeman said that “there are no facts alleged to indicate that defendant’s conduct has prevented consumers from freely choosing among search products or prevented competitors from innovating.”
The case is Feitelson et al v. Google Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 14-02007.
Google is also facing a lawsuit for anticompetitive practices in Russia
Yesterday, The Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia launched a probe against Google for alleged anticompetitive practices that violate Russian antitrust laws.
The probe was launched after the Russian search engine Yandex accused Google of forcing device manufacturers to pre-install certain Google apps on their products and set the search default preference to Google.
Google said in a statement emailed to Reuters:
“Device makers are free to install the apps they choose and consumers always have complete control over the apps on their devices,”