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Law Firm Files Antitrust Class-action Lawsuit against Google’s Mobile Monopoly
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Hagens Berman, a consumer rights class-action law firm, filed a nationwide antitrust class-action lawsuit against Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) alleging that the search engine has illegally monopolized and stagnated Internet and mobile search in the U.S. market.

According to documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Google has created its monopoly by purchase of the Android mobile operating system to ensure pre-loading of its own suit of applications onto devices through Mobile Application Distribution Agreements (MADA). The lawsuit claims the MADA agreements were not open to the public and were confidential under attorney-client privilege.

  
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The lawsuit also claims that the placing of apps through MADA has hurt the market and artificially inflated the prices of devices made by manufacturers like Samsung and HTC.

Steve Berman, founding partner of Hagens Berman said, “It’s clear that Google has not achieved this monopoly through offering a better search engine, but through its strategic, anti-competitive placement, and it doesn’t take a forensic economist to see that this is evidence of market manipulation.”

The complaint also claims that if device manufacturers using Android OS were free to choose a default search engine other than Google, the quality of searching experience on the Internet would have improved. The law firm alleged that Google not only suppresses competition but also keeps itself from improving due to its monopolistic position.

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The lawsuit asserts that Google’s MADAs are contracts in restraint of trade and are designed to extend and maintain its monopolies in desktop and handheld devices.

Among other remedies, the lawsuit also seeks damages for individuals who have had to purchase handheld devices at an artificially high price due to Google’s price-fixing via its MADA restrictions.





 

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