Google Sued for 'Illegally Monopolising' the US Mobile Search Market

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Google Sued for 'Illegally Monopolising' the US Mobile Search Market
Consumer rights law firm Hagens Berman said it filed a nationwide antitrust class-action lawsuit against Google Inc alleging the company "illegally monopolized" the Internet and mobile search market in the United States.

The lawsuit alleges that Google has expanded its monopoly of the Internet search market by pre-loading its applications onto Android mobile devices through its Mobile Application Distribution Agreements.

According to the lawsuit, Google's role in placing this suite of apps, including Google Play and YouTube, has hampered the market and kept the price of devices made by competing manufactures like Samsung Electronics and HTC Corp artificially high.

"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, the attorney representing consumers.

Google representatives were not immediately available for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.

The case is in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, 5:14-cv-02007-HRL.

Interestingly, Google was among the winners of this year's Webby Awards, a celebration of Internet achievement that got its start nearly two decades ago.

The awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a group of about 1,000 Web experts and Internet professionals. Judges included Tumblr founder David Karp and "House of Cards" actor Kevin Spacey.

In late April, Google joined a dozen Internet firms including Amazon, Cisco Systems, Facebook, IBM, Intel and Microsoft, in pledging to donate millions of dollars to set up a group that will fund improvements in open source programs like OpenSSL, the software whose "Heartbleed" bug has sent the computer industry into turmoil.

Each firm will donate $300,000 to the venture. The non-profit Linux Foundation announced formation of the group on Thursday.

Written with inputs from Reuters and AP

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