A new lawsuit being filed today against Google claims that the mandatory terms of service agreements that Google requires manufacturers to sign if they want to include the core Google apps(Play Store) inside of their devices, is one set of terms that violates anti-trust laws as well as stifles competition. The agreement that Google has every OEM sign if they want to use Google’s core apps in their Android devices is called a Mobile Application Distribution Agreement, and it basically requires that if any one OEM wants to create and manufacture an Android device with Google apps like Gmail, Maps, the Play Store, Search, and others, that the manufacturer has to not only include all of those apps in the device, but agree to Google Search being the default search engine for the device as well as agree to other certain terms.
This isn’t the first bit of flack that Google has caught over the distribution agreement they have with device makers. Google allows OEM to use the Android OS how they see fit, as the source code is open source and can be distributed freely. Which is likely part of Google’s argument here. The lawsuit against Google was filed today in a San Jose court, and states that the agreement which requires Google Search to be the main search and other Google apps be installed is “designed to maintain and extend its monopolies in general search and handheld general search”. The complaint goes on to say that Google has no lawful reason to require such terms be met to use Android with core Google apps, and that having the agreement doesn’t do anything to better the competition.
The lawsuit is seeking damages from Google as well as an injunction against them, probably making it so that Google can’t ask that manufacturers sign the MADA to take use of Google apps on their devices. Requirements set in place by the MADA don’t restrict use of the Android OS, and Google’s apps are Google’s apps, so they should have every right to set requirements to use them. More details are developing on the story and we’ll be sure to update you as they come up.