Lawsuit Accuses Google Of Making Android Phones More Expensive

Posted on May 2 2014 - 5:38pm by Chad Buenaflor

Google is best known for bringing us the Android operating system but is this company also responsible for making Android devices more expensive? Consumer rights law firm Hagens Berman thinks so as it has filed a class action lawsuit against the search giant. The lawsuit claims that “the search engine giant illegally monopolized, and financially and creatively stagnated the American market of internet and mobile search.”  

google android lawsuit

The class action lawsuit has been filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and names Gary Feitelson of Kentucky and Daniel Mckee of Iowa as well as others similarly situated as plaintiffs against Google. The lawsuit claims that Google drives up the cost of devices by making secret agreements with manufacturers to require its apps and services (Gmail, YouTube, Google Search, and Google Play Store to name a few) to occupy prime real estate in the device screens.

It further claims that manufacturers enter into an agreement with Google called the “Mobile Application Distribution Agreements” (MADA) because consumers expect Android devices to come with Google services. “Because consumers want access to Google’s products, and due to Google’s power in the U.S. market for general handheld search, Google has unrivaled market power over smartphone and tablet manufacturers.”

According to Steven Berman, founding partner at Hagens Berman and the representative attorney, “It’s clear that Google has not achieved this monopoly through offering a better search engine, but through its strategic, anti-competitive placement. Simply put, there is no lawful, pro-competitive reason for Google to condition licenses to pre-load popular Google apps like this.”

The lawsuit argues that if Google’s rivals were given the chance to place their services on Android devices then smartphones and tablets would cost cheaper due to competition.

Google commented on this latest issue by saying that “Anyone can use Android without Google and anyone can use Google without Android. Since Android’s introduction, greater competition in smartphones has given consumers more choices at lower prices.”

The class action lawsuit is seeking for damages for anyone who purchased Android devices affected by Google’s monopoly. This means that anyone who has bought an Android device since 2005 could possibly get compensation if this case prospers.

via pcworld

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About the Author

Chad Buenaflor is a tech writer, gadget reviewer and blogger. In his free time he likes to watch movies, listen to music and play chess. You can reach him at his Google+ social media account