(May 2, 2014)Google sued for allegedly creating a search monopoly on smartphones
A new class action lawsuit claims that Google is making secret deals with mobile device companies to maintain and widen an illegal search monopoly.
The nationwide antitrust suit, which was filed in a U.S. District Court in California, claims that Google required companies like Samsung and HTC to preload its applications into Android phones through secret pacts called Mobile Application Distribution Agreements (MADA).
The MADA were said to be hidden and marked for reading only for lawyers. The lawsuit claims that the agreements have hampered competition and pushed up the price for Android phones.
"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," said Steve Berman of consumer rights law firm Hagens Berman.