Consumer rights law firm Hagens Berman said it filed a nationwide antitrust class-action lawsuit against Google (GOOGL) alleging the search giant illegally monopolized the American market of internet and mobile search.
The lawsuit alleges that Google has expanded its monopoly of the internet search market by pre-loading its apps onto Android mobile devices through its Mobile Application Distribution Agreements.
According to the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Google’s role in placing a suite of apps in the Android OS by default, including Google Play and YouTube, among others, has suppressed the market and kept the price of devices made by competing manufactures like Samsung Electronics and HTC artificially high.
Google said Android and Google can be used independent of each other.
“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,” Matt Kallman, a Google spokesman, told Reuters.
Steve Berman, attorney representing consumers and founding partner of Hagens Berman said 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.”