Last May, Google was hit with an class-action anti-trust lawsuit over several of its Android and Search practices. The case centered around the idea that Google was forcing Android handset manufacturers to make its search engine the default on all their devices, as well as pre-load apps such as YouTube. These practices, in turn, drove up the price of Android devices. Reuters reports this evening, however, that a federal judge has dismissed the lawsuit due to a lack of evidence from the plaintiffs.
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U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman said that the consumers involved in the suit didn’t have enough evidence to support claims that Google’s practices drove up the price of Android devices. Freeman also said that she was unsure of how many supply chain levels there between the manufacturers who signed the anticompetitive contracts, and the end consumer.
Freeman supported her ruling with the following statement:
“Their alleged injuries – supracompetitive prices and threatened loss of innovation and consumer choice – are not the necessary means by which defendant is allegedly accomplishing its anticompetitive ends.”
The plaintiffs were arguing that Google forcing manufacturers to make it the default search engine and include its apps on their devices was causing the price of Android phones to increase. This was due, the plaintiffs claimed, to the fact that rivals could not compete for “the prime real estate” that Google was forcing manufacturers to give it.
Judge Freeman has given the plaintiffs three weeks to amend their claims.