monday, 23 february of 2015

Federal judge dismisses Google antitrust suit

A federal judge for the Northern District of California on Friday dismissed a class action suit against Google for allegedly monopolizing search engines in Android phones. The plaintiffs in the case were two customers who purchased Samsung Galaxy mobile phones and sought to represent a class of Android purchasers. According to the claim, neither plaintiff knew that Google would be the default search engine on their phone or how to modify the search engine. The plaintiffs argued their phones could have cost less and contained better search functions if it were not for Google's strict Mobile Application Distribution Agreements. Plaintiffs brought forth six causes of action against Google under both federal and state laws, including: the Sherman Act, the Clayton Act, the California Unfair Competition Law and California's Cartwright Act. The judge granted Google's motion to dismiss all counts, finding the plaintiffs' statement of facts do not indicate that Google's conduct prevented consumers from freely choosing among search products or prevented competitors from innovating.

Google has faced legal action in the past year both in the US and internationally. Last month a representative for Google signed an agreement to rewrite the company's current privacy policy in response to pressure from the UK Information Commissioner's Office. In January Google was among four tech companies that reached a $415 million settlement in a class action lawsuit claiming the companies unlawfully agreed to reduce employee compensation and mobility. A Hong Kong court ruled last August that Chinese businessman Dr. Albert Yeung Sau Shing may continue his defamation suit against Google over the autocomplete function of the company's search engine which suggests links connecting Yeung to organized crime groups in China. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled last May that programming interfaces in Oracle's Java technology can be protected under US copyright law, allowing Oracle to pursue its legal case against Google.

(Published by Jurist – February 23, 2015)

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