Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Cloud Computing
24/7/365 Network Uptime
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Android Used for Google Search Monopoly, Suit Alleges
Android Used for Google Search Monopoly, Suit Alleges

By Seth Fitzgerald
May 2, 2014 12:13PM

    Bookmark and Share
A class-action lawsuit alleges that mobile application distribution agreements have been used to boost Google's market share, particularly in the search industry. Android device manufacturers like HTC and Samsung have entered into the agreements, which require that additional Google services be included on mobile devices.
 



Google is facing a consumer antitrust lawsuit over its requirement that if Android device manufacturers use one of its apps it must use a bundle of others, allegedly driving up the cost to consumers.

The suit, filed by Hagens Berman, a Seattle-based law firm that has represented plaintiffs in other big antitrust cases, alleges the company's mobile application distribution agreements (MADAs) with manufacturers contribute to a monopoly by Google in the search business.

Android, which is found on more than 78 percent of smartphones worldwide, can be used on devices without Google services. It is not often, however, that a company chooses to not include Google Play, YouTube or other Google apps on a device. The MADAs, the existence of which were unknown until Harvard Business School professor Ben Edelman wrote about them, must be signed before a mobile device manufacturer can include Google applications that are vital to success.

Unfair Requirements

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in San Jose, California, alleges that the MADAs have been used to boost Google's market share, particularly in the search industry. Popular Android device manufacturers like HTC and Samsung have entered into the previously secret agreements, which require that additional Google services be included on mobile devices.

Among the extra services that must be installed alongside Google Play and YouTube are applications like Google Search. Not only must they be built into the devices, they must also be made the default apps for certain functions.

By forcing Google Search to be installed on millions of Android handsets, the lawsuit alleges, Google has been able to dominate the search industry and generate billions of dollars in profit through search-related advertisements.

"Google has found a way to use its Android mobile operating system ('Android OS') to maintain and expand its monopoly," says the class-action complaint.

Bringing Devices to Life

The lawsuit was filed by the owner of an HTC phone made in 2011 that runs on Android. The suit alleges Google's restrictions made the phone more expensive.

Google denied its practices were anti-competitive in an e-mail to Bloomberg News.

"Anyone can use Android without Google and anyone can use Google without Android," said Matt Kallman, a Google spokesman. "Since Android's introduction, greater competition in smartphones has given consumers more choices at lower prices."

As the lawsuit notes, Android as an operating system can be used without many fees or requirements. Yet many of the things associated with an Android phone or tablet are actually the result of additional services like Google Play, the Android's primary app store.

The MADAs are allegedly used by Google as a way to get the company's entire suite of applications onto the majority of Android phones and tablets. If a mobile device manufacturer were to only want one or two vital applications, Google would not allow it.

It is not clear whether mobile device manufacturers are unhappy about the MADAs. If, for example, HTC was not required to make Google Search the default search engine, it seems unlikely that another search engine would be chosen.

Additionally, Google has dominated the search industry since before Android was a major mobile OS. When the first Android phones were introduced in 2008, Google already had a 60 percent market share in the U.S. Six years later, Google's search market share has only grown by a few percentage points, suggesting that the MADAs are not responsible for the search engine's success.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

FreeAndroid:

Posted: 2014-05-02 @ 8:48pm PT
If HTC was not required to make Google Search the default search engine, it would solicit bids from other search engines. Similar to PC manufacturers in the nineties, that would get kickbacks when users used pre-installed ISPs, the money that competing search engines would pay would help reduce the cost of the device.

Moreover, there is another questionable issue with Google's bundling. Incidentally, GooglePlay dwarf all other apps stores, and plenty of apps are difficult to find outside of GooglePlay. This makes it even more problematic for device manufacturers to resist signing those MADAs. It is time to call Google's anti-competitive game for what it is. Bring on the lawyers!



Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.


 Cloud Computing
1.   IBM, California Partner in the Cloud
2.   Dropbox for Business Boosts Security
3.   Cisco Woos More Devs with DevNet
4.   Investor Wants EMC To Spin Off VMware
5.   Microsoft Layoffs Reportedly Coming


advertisement
Amazon Intros Zocalo Storage Service
Online storage and sharing for business.
Average Rating:
Cisco Woos More Devs with DevNet
To create new network-aware apps.
Average Rating:
IBM Rolls Out Hybrid Cloud Services
Based on SoftLayer net infrastructure.
Average Rating:


advertisement
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Working To Fix Tor Security Exploit
Developers for the Tor privacy browser are scrambling to fix a bug revealed Monday that researchers say could allow hackers, or government surveillance agencies, to track users online.
 
Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
Hacked again. That’s the story at the Wall Street Journal this week as the newspaper reports that the computer systems housing some of its news graphics were breached. Customers not affected -- yet.
 
Dropbox for Business Beefs Up Security
Dropbox is upping its game for business users. The cloud-based storage and sharing company has rolled out new security, search and other features to boost its appeal for businesses.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Microsoft Makes Design Central to Its Future
Over the last four years, Microsoft has doubled the number of designers it employs, putting a priority on fashioning devices that work around people's lives -- and that are attractive and cool.
 
Contrary to Report, Lenovo's Staying in Small Windows Tablets
Device maker Lenovo has clarified a report that indicated it is getting out of the small Windows tablet business -- as in the ThinkPad 8 and the 8-inch Miix 2. But the firm said it is not exiting that market.
 
Seagate Unveils Networked Drives for Small Businesses
Seagate is out with five new networked attached storage products aimed at small businesses. The drives are for companies with up to 50 workers, and range in capacity from two to 20 terabytes.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.