Google Antitrust Case Dropped In U.S.

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Android has its fans, its wild crazy fanboys and equally, its enemies. It might seem like everyone in Europe is against Android, but antitrust charges brought against Google from inside its own US user base, have thankfully finally been dropped.

In February we reported on the slight reprieve Google had received against the charges that circle around how Google handles the certification of Android. Gary Feitelson and Daniel McKee from Kentucky and Iowa both accused Google of using its power to keep a hold on Android and force Google services on its users, going as far as claiming by including these on the Android handset “stifles innovation and diminishes consumer choice.”

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Reuters has reported that the claims were finally dropped on Friday after the plaintiffs were given time to restructure their case and present better evidence that this practice increased the handset price. They argued that restricting search choice was an attempt to “quash competition for default search engine status before it even can begin” and increased competition would mean a better service and the phones would become cheaper.

“The Court agrees with Defendant [Google] that there are no facts alleged that would render these threatened injuries [loss of consumer choice and innovation] more concrete than hypothetical, as there are no facts alleged to indicate that Defendant’s conduct has prevented consumers from freely choosing among search products or prevented competitors from innovating.” – US District Court Judge Beth Labson Freeman

However Google rebutted in court that anybody was welcome to use Android without Google services, something which many manufactures in Asia and also Amazon choose to. Google’s stipulation is that should a manufacturer choose to use Google services, then the whole suite must be offered in the interests of the customer.

“Since Android’s introduction, greater competition in smartphones has given consumers more choices at lower prices,” Google spokesman Aaron Stein said in an email to Reuters.

This must surely free up some lawyers for Google as they look set for a huge fight in Europe over antitrust complaints. Its beyond our knowledge to say if Google are even at fault of these cases, however one must start to wonder if there is any smoke without fire? Does Google deserve to be broken up like Microsoft was in the 90’s?

  Source: Reuters
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