Google Escapes Antitrust Litigation Over Android's 'Restrictive' Default App Requirements

Not even a week after Yandex filed a complaint against Google for its anticompetitive practices, a San Jose judge dismissed a lawsuit that focused on similar accusations.

In this lawsuit, Google was ultimately accused of being anticompetitive. This accusation stems from the fact that the company bundles many of its own apps on most (or all) Android devices, and like the Yandex complaint, Google's search engine is default (and I mentioned last week, it's not clear to me if the functionality of that bar can be altered without having to use a custom launcher).

Google Nexus 6

This could be considered a major win for Google, as Microsoft wasn't so lucky in the EU years ago, when it was ultimately forced to introduce a "browser wheel" to its Windows builds in that region. According to this San Jose judge, it's perfectly suitable for a company to bundle its own apps.

What made this case a bit different, though, is that the accusers claimed device prices were made higher as a result of there being no app competition. There was no proof of this, however, and it seems a bit odd to believe that would even be the case. If Google is able to load up all Android devices with its own apps, it'd stand to reason that the devices would be less expensive - Google wants everyone and their dog to use an Android device, after all.

Nonetheless, the plaintiffs have three weeks to amend their claim, so it might not be the last we hear of this case. It certainly won't be the last we hear of such a case being filed - it's becoming routine at this point.