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Monday, 14 July 2014 12:10

Google tries to get anti-trust suit chucked out

Written by Nick Farrell



Unlikely to succeed

Search engine outfit Google is having a crack at getting an antitrust lawsuit targeting Google's Android operating system dismissed. Two smartphone customers filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Google in May, arguing that the way Google licenses Android to smartphone companies like Samsung is unfair to Google's competitors for search and other mobile services.

Google said the case should be thrown out because smartphone manufacturers are free to use Android on their phones without also installing Google apps. In the US lawsuit, the plaintiffs had argued that Google forces phone manufacturers to set its own search engine as the default on Android phones. Google knows consumers will not go through the trouble of changing those default settings, the lawsuit said, putting competitors at an unfair disadvantage given Android's global market share.

"Google badly wants default search engine status because it results in more paid search-related advertisements," the lawsuit said, "which are the source of most of its billions and billions of dollars in annual profits."

Google said that if a phone manufacturer does opt to install Google apps, they can still preload competing apps as well. Consumers, moreover, are free to customise their own phones and replace Google search as the default.

"Google's conduct is not only fully consistent with but actually promotes lawful competition," the company wrote.

Nick Farrell

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