Class Action suit against Google is dismissed; plaintiffs claimed Google was responsible for high phone prices

Class Action suit against Google is dismissed; plaintiffs claimed Google was responsible for high phone prices
You might remember back last May when an anti trust suit was filed against Google. One of the plaintiffs was the owner of an HTC EVO 3D. He claimed that because of Google's business practices and its restrictions on Android, he had to pay an artificially high price for his handset. In a response made at that time, Google cleverly said that "Anyone can use Android without Google and anyone can use Google without Android." The suit sought injunctive relief and damages under both federal and state anti-trust laws.

The plaintiffs argued that Google's secret Mobile Application Distribution Agreements (MADA) forced manufacturers to bundle all of Google's built-in apps like YouTube, Maps and Google Play onto an Android handset, or lose the right to use any of them. In other words, the plaintiffs claimed that Google's "all or nothing" approach was forcing Android handset manufacturers to artifically hike their prices.

On Friday, the plaintiffs' law firm (Hagens Berman) filed a notice with the Northern California District Court stating that they have withdrawn their antitrust suit against Google without prejudice. This means that the plaintiffs are free to file this case again.

Friday's motion to withdraw the suit came after Google successfully had an amended complaint dismissed in February. Judge Beth Labson Freeman had agreed with Google's attorneys who argued that there was no evidence to support the claims that MADA prevented customers from having choices, and also held back corporate innovation.

After the first amended complaint was dismissed in February, the plaintiffs were given the opportunity to re-file. Friday was the deadline to do so. Instead of re-filing, the plaintiffs decided to withdraw their claims, at least for now.

source: AppleInsider

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14 Comments

1. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

Funny...I think it was Apple and Samsung who have the market cornered on high prices...

2. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

What's really ironic is that most of the non hardware reasons for prices going up is litigation. And their plan to solve the issue was to take them to court. People somehow have this idea that if AOSP is free, then Google should make everything else free as well. Having those services bundled on these devices is part of how Google is able to make their money back, advertising being the other. But if a company was allowed to ship devices without Google's services on board, that removes quite a bit of their revenue stream, including less advertising opportunities. And considering there are phones available with things like large screens and LTE available for $150 and lower, I don't see how they're saying prices are going up. Maybe for flagship devices, but they're also offering much higher tech than devices were 5 years ago as well. If you want higher quality, then you're going to pay for it.

5. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

You guys are taking this way too seriously. These are trolls trying to make money any way they can and litigation is just one of those methods.

10. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

I'm sure you're right, but when this story originally came out, people here on PA were in agreement with them. They seem to feel that Google should give anyone who uses AOSP complete access to the Playstore, whether these companies have Google's services installed or not. If they were forced to do that, then they might as well charge OEMS for Android and the Playstore itself, just like MS did at the beginning. The only reason they've stopped doing so is because they're running a distant third.

6. vincelongman

Posts: 5717; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I don't see how Google could be blamed The Android OEMs set their prices, not Google The prices the Android OEMs chose on par with other similar phones from iOS and WP If anything Google has done decent work on reducing phone prices AOSP is free and open source Google Services are also free (but do have some conditions) And their prices for their Nexus 4, 5, 7 were almost half of the other major OEMs charged (At the time) Google own Motorola introduce the Moto E and Moto G which have far better value than other major OEMs

11. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Agreed. These guys chose their handsets, they knew the price going in, and like you said, Google offered lower cost alternatives. How they got it in their minds that Google's actions were driving prices up instead of down is beyond me. The only company not offering low cost alternatives is Apple, and if anything they're the ones driving costs up. A few years ago, you didn't see smartphones retailing for $1100. And now after you see that on the ip6+ Samsung is following suit with their S6 Edge (while not as high, it's still higher than what they used to charge for their top tier models).

3. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

The suit was filed last May? So...after Google introduced the Nexus 4 and 5 and 7's which drastically undercut prices of similarly spec'd devices? After Google bought Motorola and introduced the Moto G? Brilliant lawsuit! I wonder why it failed...

4. Awesoman64

Posts: 292; Member since: Mar 18, 2015

Its stupidity at its finest.

7. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

If they dont like having to have a small fee built into the price of the device to access google services through android, then they are free to use windows phone.... no wait, MS charges a LARGE fee for use of windows... or they could try Apple and ask for a discount.. hahahahahah. people are morons.

12. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Actually, I believe MS has stopped charging OEMS for using WP, to be more competitive. Since their trailing both iOS and Android they had to do something to entice more hardware partners to use WP.

9. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I can't help but LOL! when i read the title.

13. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1264; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

He must be sm0king something of very bad quality and way too expired for actual use, imho...

14. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Stupidest lawsuit ever...

15. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

It was dropped as it should. It never should have been filed. Not only could he use an Android phone that didnt have Google services, he didnt have to get a brand new, flagship either.

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