Google wants court to dismiss antitrust law suit targeting Android

Google wants court to dismiss antitrust law suit targeting Android
On Friday, Google asked a court to dismiss a proposed class-action suit, filed in May by two smartphone users. The pair's suit alleges that Google is unfair in the way that it licenses Android to manufacturers like LG. The current process, they say, is unfair to Google's competitors in search and in other services. Google says that the suit should be dismissed because smartphone manufacturers are free to install Android on their devices without having to install Google apps. After all, Android is an open source OS. 

Google has faced antitrust issues before, and in Europe it is working out a settlement with regulators. In the states, Google has had to listen to complaints from companies like Microsoft. The latter claims that Google ranks its own services higher than its competitors' rankings in search results.

In the class-action suit, Google is being accused of forcing manufacturers to use its search engine on Android phones. The plaintiffs say that Google takes advantage of the fact that most people who buy a smartphone, won't change the default search settings on the device. Google does allow phone manufacturers to install competing apps and Android buyers have the ability to customize their handset. Google argues that its actions promote competition. The plaintiffs say otherwise, claiming that Google's actions are forcing consumers to overpay for their smartphones. The defendants argue that there is no proof of that at all in the suit.

A hearing on Google's request to dismiss the suit will be heard in October.

source: Reuters



1. arenanew

Posts: 286; Member since: Dec 30, 2013

ban google

63. sgodsell

Posts: 7368; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Then you may as well ban Microsoft and Apple.

2. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Stupid. The default Google apps are the reason why Android is open-source and free for any manufacturer to use. It's how Google makes money from Android. You can't blame a company for trying to make a profit...

4. icyrock1

Posts: 307; Member since: Mar 25, 2013

"You can't blame a company for trying to make a profit..." When they break the law, yes, yes you can.

9. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

I posted this in another article, but I'll do it again for simplicity sake. The agreement Google has with manufacturers goes like this. Android can be taken by any company and used however they see fit, as we have seen with Amazon's Kindle tablet & Fire phone, and Nokia's X line. They can fork android however they want, to the point it may even be unrecognizable as being android. The only catch is Google's services. Google's services are not open and free but proprietary and owned by Google, and is apart from AOSP android. So if you want to use android you have 2 options. First, you can follow Google's guidelines for THEIR version of android, which allows you to use Google's services including access to the Playstore. By doing so you agree not to fork android beyond a certain point. Skins are allowed, but again only to a certain point. Second, you can take android and change (fork) it to your hearts desire, however doing so means you lose access to Google's services including the Playstore. This hasn't been an issue since both Amazon and Nokia/Microsoft have their own app stores. That being said, one of the complaints is that the casual user won't take the time to use a different search engine and set it as default (which can be done with little effort). That isn't on Google, that's on the consumer. They have the ability within Google's version of android to replace every Google service with a competing one and set it as default. The whole point of apps is to add functionality and customize the phone the way you want it. The ability is there, and it's up to the customer to do so. If LG had replaced Chrome with Bing, what's to stop the customer from ranting about the same thing? The point is they act like it can't be done, when in fact it's easy and takes almost no time to implement. And if the OEMS are truly bent out of shape over this, they can take android and make it their own, only without Google's services including the Playstore. The point people seem to be missing in all of this, is that while android is open and free, Google's services including the Playstore are proprietary and not open. Google makes money off android by advertising to the people using their services. If you take that away, then they'll have to recoup the costs, which means charging for android along with their proprietary services. Research ,development, and maintenance for android and their proprietary services costs money. If that's taken away, they either have to charge for their services or shutter it. While they don't charge for android, Google isn't UNICEF either. Would any of you work for no money? If not then quit your bitchin'.

11. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Good post. You hit the nail on the head...

14. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

The difference in your argument is the distinction between the agreement between Google and OEMs, and Google and customers. OEMs have to abide by Google's guidelines to use Android AND Play, or they can use Android without Play services. That's fine, and I'm sure it is beneficial to the OEM to have Play services installed. That covers the manufacturers and Google, but there is a fly in that ointment. If I buy an Android phone for cash, I own it. My purchase does not constitute an agreement with Google, because I am not their customer, nor do I owe them anything. We (the denizens of this site, for the most part), can then root and strip everything Google from Android. However, the average person cannot do that because Google wants to make sure that stripping them out of the equation is hard or impossible. Before you say "Apple or Blackberry force you into using their choices," stop and think about that. When you buy their products, you are given explicit consent as the customer, their customer, a major difference between the Google - Buyer relationship. Finally, this isn't just Google's problem, but they are a victim of their success. If WP should ever become a viable alternative (10%+ marketshare), someone who buys a non-MSFT WP device could accuse the same thing because of how locked in to MSFT services WP devices are. You only get to dictate terms when you are part of the covenant, as either buyer or seller.

18. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

The only problems I have with your argument is first, when you buy their phone, you're buying it as is. The receipt is your contract with them, just as if you were to root it, you void the warranty. The ones suing seem to believe that if they win the device prices will go down. So let's say Google let's the OEMS strip google services from the devices. Now Google has no revenue stream off of those phones. That would mean Google would have to move to a paid licensing system, or drop android altogether. If they licensed it, the OEM's costs now go up, meaning a higher final price for the consumer. This is really no different than if someone bought a Ford vehicle and bitched that they wanted Dodge's UConnect system instead of Ford's onboard media center. I'm not sure I follow about Apple and Blackberry. Are you saying that by purchasing their device, you are agreeing to use their services? If so, that's the same with GOOGLE'S version of android. And by purchasing a device that runs Google's services, you've made the same agreement. If you don't want to have a device that runs Google, there are BB, iOS, WP, and various forked versions of android. Yes they are currently the market leader, and I assume you are thinking this is analagous to what happened with MS's lawsuit over IE. But the difference between 1st and 2nd place in that case was far greater than in this case.

16. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

VZWuser76 -- "They have the ability within Google's version of android to replace every Google service with a competing one and set it as default." This isn't true. One example is how you can't change the backup option to not backup to Google. It's either on or off and Android updates will sometimes turn this option back on, even if the consumer had it off. So Google can steal your data, of course. Overall, the way Google manages Android phones with Google services on them is terribly biased in favor of them and against the consumer. If I could easily delete all the Google spyware off an Android phone, then I would be much happier with Google as a company. But this is basically a very difficult task, even with root. And without root, it is impossible and basically you are just screwed.

20. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

So what would you have Google do then? Offer this for free to everyone and have no way to recover their costs? I'd imagine if this would go the plaintiff's way, Google would switch to a paid license system, close it up and make it proprietary like Microsoft has done with WP. Either way, everyone makes it sound like they have no options but to buy an android phone. If you don't want Google on your phone, get an iPhone, a Windows phone, a Blackberry, or get a forked android phone with a Nokia X or an Amazon Fire phone. This is no different than wanting Dodge's UConnect system on Ford vehicle or even wanting Dish's Hopper but having service from DirecTV. Can I go into McDonalds and order a Whopper? No, so why is this different? I never said you could completely remove Google from their handsets without root, I simply said you can replace their services with others, and in most cases set them as default. And when you purchase a phone that comes with Google's version of android on it, why the hell would you be surprised that it has Google's services on it?

21. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

To address your previous reply and this one, the difference is, when you buy a Ford, you are consenting, tacitly, to use Ford systems. Excepting the Nexus line, when you buy an Android phone, you are buying a Samsung, LG, etc., not a Google phone. Once Samsung and the other OEMs have fulfilled their contract with Google, the agreement does not also carry over to the customer. As for replacement, you can use other services, but Google's will still run in the background. You cannot remove them. This is the Windows/Internet Explorer thing, all over again.

23. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

It seems what you are saying is that when buying a Dodge car your are agreeing to use UConnect, but when buying a Galaxy S5, you're not agreeing to use Google? When you buy one of these phones you are buying a phone with GOOGLE'S VERSION of android on it. The salesmen tell you during the sales process that you'll need a Google account to activate the phone. Hell, most people consider forked versions of Android as not true Android because they don't have Google services on them. For better or worse, Android is perceived as an OS that runs Google's services. What I would like to know is what you think Google should do in this matter. You keep explaining why they're in the wrong, but haven't said how they should resolve the issue. Should they follow MS and Apple's examples and run a closed OS on a paid license setup?

25. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

In part, this can bear some close resemblance to the YouTube/Google+ integration type issue that tries to force people to do more Google. It leans more to the Microsoft/Internet Explorer case that tried to stifle competition by using their software arm against Netscape. You want a solution? How about unbundling Google Now? the default search engine, and allowing a prompt for the user like "Do you want to make DuckDuckGo your default search engine?" Hard to get down your throat? well, I get because Google already dug too deep by implementing tighter integrations that make it difficult for others to compete. We can 't live in a world where one company leads the charge in every little thing

26. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

But, as I said, there goes their revenue stream if you take that away. So either they close off the OS and charge to license it, or shutter android. But just like no one's forcing people to buy phones with Google's version of android, no one's forcing the OEMS to use Google's version of android. They could do as Amazon and Nokia have done and fork their own version of android. What you people apparently want is the benefits of the Playstore, but not having Google on their phone. Well fine, let them separate the Playstore out of the agreement. Of course there goes any free apps, because of the revenue loss they'll have to recoup their costs somehow. Google currently is waiving charging for their work and taking revenue from advertising. What you're asking us for them to provide their benefits while at the same time losing their revenue stream. Again, would you work for no compensation? You can't have your cake and eat it too.

59. 8logic

Posts: 154; Member since: Mar 05, 2012

But when you buy a Samsung and LG, you consent to using Android by Google because samsung and LG has agreement with Google to use their set of apps. If you buy a Ford, you are buying the agreement Ford has with their suppliers. If you buy a pc from any manufacturer, chances are, Explorer is install

56. tedkord

Posts: 17357; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

So you turn it off and install a third party backup app. Where within iOS do you have an option to backup your phone without iTunes? Where in WP? (Though in not sure about WP)

77. JunkCreek

Posts: 407; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

have u tried android with no google service? it had a kind of cwm installed on recovery mode. u can back up all datas in ur phone to restore later as long as u had enough storage on ur sdcard. it had no google play store, no gmail, no hangout, no maps, no youtube, no google at all. even of you install google service on your own, it can hardly just install and run. for example, i bought chinese tablet with no google in it. after i manually install google play, it said, i need google service, go to the play and install google service with no luck, so i cant use youtube and some online games that needs google service installed. so, u really had to choose: 1. agree to google disclaimer, got g bloatware but with some benefit and some "inconvenient" or 2. no g bloated ware, but with some imconvenient i mentioned above. so, if u dont like g service, choose other manufacture/vendor that dont use g service, like amazon and nokia. if u want g service along, it had agreement with it. no services is free.

81. WahyuWisnu

Posts: 1001; Member since: May 29, 2014

No services is free!!!! RIGHT!!! I really hope all the nay-sayer in here, to understand this. Google is not charity organization.

27. WahyuWisnu

Posts: 1001; Member since: May 29, 2014

GOOD POST!! I guess microsoft really want to screw google very badly that it find a way to brain wash people by spreading this kind of FUD. I see the scrogle campaign, and I know microsoft, and that's my sole reason that I won't buy any WP phone.

30. nasznjoka

Posts: 418; Member since: Oct 05, 2012

me neither! They're desperate! Those google services they claim are what? Can I use my gmail account on a nokia x? can search by google on their WP crup? The answer is no because they have the services in house why would they set the default ones to be of the competition? Only Apple does that because that is not their area but if they could they would. This is nonsense if you think google is stealing your data then every one else is doing the same esp THE DESPERATE MICROSOFT! But you'dn't know!

40. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Yes you are right, however if you do not use Google Services, you are banned from saying ANDROID. Google owns the word Android. So you can ASOP all you want, but as soon as you market the word Android on your device, which EVERY manufacture wants because of brand recognition you have to use Google. This is the same thing MS was facing with their IE/MediaPlayer lawsuit days. Only thing is, now since its google, people are bowing to them in almighty fashion. Personally I don't care and think both the MS lawsuit of the 90's and now this are derp.

46. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

The source code for Google is what's open source. Not the Android name, not Google's services, not the Playstore. As I said in other posts here, MS was accused of banning software like Netscape Navigator coming preloaded on PCs running Windows OS. Google hasn't done anything like that. That is the difference I see between the cases. The rank and search issue is something else entirely. This suit deals with Google forcing OEMS to include Google search on their devices, and overcharging for their devices. I guarantee you if they didn't have their services on there, the phones would cost more than they currently do. If you want access to the Playstore, you have to take all Google's services in a bundle with it. But they aren't keeping the customer from changing it themselves, and AFAIK, they're not stopping OEMS from including other search engines on their devices.

69. WahyuWisnu

Posts: 1001; Member since: May 29, 2014

VZWuser, you got it wrong. Google let nokia/microsoft use the name android, see post #68

53. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

Yep the Android fanboys never see the irony in their comments. Google in the present is the MS of the 90's.

70. WahyuWisnu

Posts: 1001; Member since: May 29, 2014

LOL. MS in 2014 is MS in the 90's, Google still the same do no evil. MS in 2013 is MS in the 90's, Google still the same do no evil. MS in 2012 is MS in the 90's, Google still the same do no evil. MS in 2011 is MS in the 90's, Google still the same do no evil. MS in 2010 is MS in the 90's, Google still the same do no evil. MS in 2009 is MS in the 90's, Google still the same do no evil. MS in 2008 is MS in the 90's, Google still the same do no evil. MS in 2007 is MS in the 90's, Google still the same do no evil. MS in 2006 is MS in the 90's, Google still the same do no evil. MS in 2005 is MS in the 90's, Google still the same do no evil. MS in 2004 is MS in the 90's, Google still the same do no evil. MS in 2003 is MS in the 90's, Google still the same do no evil. MS in 2002 is MS in the 90's, Google still the same do no evil. MS in 2001 is MS in the 90's, Google still the same do no evil. MS in 2000 is MS in the 90's, Google still the same do no evil.

68. WahyuWisnu

Posts: 1001; Member since: May 29, 2014

No, wrong!! The android name is NOT banned. Nokia/Microsoft SOLD the Nokia X in Indonesia as NOKIA ANDROID PHONE!! Here is the link: look at the OS description... ANDROID NOKIA and here: look at the OS.... Android 4.1.2 and here is AIRED TV ADS (on youtube) it's in indonesian language, but at around the end it say ANDROID.

88. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Using 3rd party sources is moronic. You really don't know what the difference is between and Nokia. From above website, (Android is a trademark of Google Inc.) OS: Software platform & User Interface Operating system: Nokia X software platform Software release: Nokia X software platform 1.0 Software updates: Firmware Over-the-Air (FOTA) What is that Nokia is not marketing it as Android OS? Oh i wonder why? because they cant

89. WahyuWisnu

Posts: 1001; Member since: May 29, 2014 is one of the largest nokia distributor in Indonesia. Furthermore, nokia Indonesia PUT AN ADS ON TV (not, but nokia) saying it's ANDROID. they have several ads, and one of them is "want android, you can get nokia x". Google didn't sue nokia for that's ads. I know you want to discredit google very badly, and I could say that you were blind. Google might own the trademark of android, but it did not sue nokia for saying nokia x is android.

91. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Again you are failing to understand. Even links to Nokia, even links to not calling it Android OS, but instead Nokia X software platform. You still do not get it. Is owned by nokia? Did Nokia Indonesia, say, Android OS or the ability to run Android Apps? There is a HUGE difference. Links to the ads where Nokia Indonesia has stated Android OS and not android apps.

92. WahyuWisnu

Posts: 1001; Member since: May 29, 2014

elitewolverine, I'm getting tired to answer your question. In Indonesia, Nokia sold the Nokia X and advertise it as ANDROID PHONE. PERIOD!!! Maybe in it said Nokia X software platform. BUT NOKIA PUT ADVERTISEMENT IN TV & PRINTED MAGAZINE & BILLBOARD SAYING Nokia X is android. PERIOD!!! They don't say Nokia X software platform, as Nokia X software platform won't bring any sales, because Nokia reputation has been tarnished by the WP product (lumia). but Nokia Android will bring sales. That's why nokia put ads in Indonesia as Android OS 4.2.2 Jely bean. Nokia has 4 distributor in Indonesia. OKE, GlobalTeleshop, SentraPonsel & Eraphone. All Nokia phone only sold THROUGH this distributor. I already give the youtube link above. Search my post above. I know I dissapoint you because I can't post any picture of the ads in newspaper and billboard. But you can search the net if you want. The 2 link I gave you (global & oke) is already enough. all material in globalteleshop & oke (the NOKIA CERTIFIED DISTRIBUTOR) is from nokia. The brosure, the spec in globalteleshop & oke were directly copied from nokia indonesia. I give you one more link THE LAUNCHING of Nokia X in Indonesia In the video it say (1:06) "William Hamilton Whyte, the president director of nokia indonesia said nokia x is the best combination of Nokia, Micosoft, and android"

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