North Carolina readers of this blog may have taken note of a class action lawsuit that was filed against Google by two individuals. The men claim that Google is monopolizing United States searches on the Internet and mobiles. The business litigation was filed at the beginning of May with the plaintiffs claiming that statistics show that the share of Google’s handheld searches in the United States is 86.82 percent, documenting a clear monopolization of the search engine market.
The plaintiffs accused Google of exploiting consumers’ desire to access its products, by their requirement that manufacturers of Android OS devices pre-load all of its applications. They claim that Google has a distribution agreement that leaves the manufacturers no choice regarding which applications they want to pre-load. It boils down to all or nothing, leaving no space for Google’s rivals to get a share of the search engine market.
The suit asserts that the overall quality of Internet searches would drastically improve if manufacturers were not constrained by the distribution agreements with Google. The effectiveness of search engines improves as the amount of processed search queries increase, allowing manufacturers the freedom to choose which search engine they want to pre-load. This would arguably result in an overall improvement in Internet search quality. The plaintiffs claim that the current Google monopoly leaves no opportunity for rivals to compete.
The complaint claims that consumers would benefit because smartphone and tablet prices could be reduced if Google’s rivals were able to vie for the default status. If other search engines could bid on providing search facilities to manufacturers of handheld devices, production costs of those devices may be reduced, leading to potentially reduced consumer prices to benefit North Carolina and other consumers. In this business litigation, the plaintiffs are seeking appropriate relief and the prevention of unlawful practices by granting additional judgments or orders.
Source: Legal Newsline, “Class action filed against Google for alleged monopoly on Internet searches“, Kyla Asbury, May 6, 2014