A U.S Federal judge has dismissed the lawsuit against Google Inc., for pushing android based handset makers to make the search engine company’s own applications the default options. Consumers claimed that Google required companies such as Samsung Electronics Co to favor Google apps such as YouTube on Android-powered phones, and restrict rival apps such as Microsoft Corp’s Bing.
The plaintiffs have been allowed three weeks to modify their complaint against Google for using its position for promoting its apps on the mobile operating system backed by the company. The plaintiff accused Google of using its dominant position to cause harm to smartphones buyers. The complaint alleged that due to this practice employed by Google, the smartphone prices were pushed higher as rivals could not compete for ‘prime screen real estate.’
The U.S District Judge Beth Labson Freeman in San Jose, California said that the complainants failed to prove that the restrictive practices used by Google pushed up the prices of smartphones. Freeman said that there seems no link between the phone pricing and software installed on the phones.
Judge Freeman also said, “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.”
Robert Lopez, lawyer for the plaintiffs, has not commented on the decision. The case is Feitelson et al v.Google Inc, U.S District Court, Northern District of California, No. 14-02007.
Such cases are not new to Google. Google is also facing antitrust issues in Europe. Russian authorities have recently opened a probe to check Google’s role in the usage and promotion of apps on its Android platform. The European Parliment in November urged antitrust authorities to break up the Mountain View, California-based company and called on the European Commission to consider proposals to unbundle search engines from other services.