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Google Sees Class Action ‘High Price’ Suit Against Them Dismissed

April 4, 2015 - Written By Ed Modlin

In May of 2014, Google was named as a defendant in an antitrust lawsuit filed against them. That class action lawsuit was filed by several people among which was a gentleman who owned a HTC EVO 3D, The plaintiffs all claimed that because of the search giant’s business practices and its restrictions placed on the Android operating system, that he was forced to pay an artificially high price for the device. Google’s response to the lawsuit was “Anyone can use Android without Google and anyone can use Google without Android.” The suit seeked (based on state and federal antitrust laws) an injunction, and, of course, punitive damages.

The argument was referring to a secret agreement with Google, a Mobile Application Distribution Agreement (MADA). Claiming that core Android applications like YouTube, Google Maps, Google Play, and Docs, were forced to be bundled on any Android device by the manufacturer, and if they didn’t do so, the manufacturer would lose the right to use any of them. The plaintiffs claimed that the “all or nothing” stance by Google had forced the manufacturer to hike prices artificially. Yesterday, Hagans Berman, the law firm hired by the plaintiffs, to file and argue the case with the Northern California District Court located in San Francisco, filed a notice to withdraw without prejudice. This would mean that the law firm could file a new lawsuit at any time in the future. The reason that the lawsuit was withdrawn had to do with an amended complaint that Google had successfully dismissed back in February, Judge Beth Labson Freeman had agreed with Google’s attorneys who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, not to mention, holding back corporate innovation. At that point, the entire case the lawsuit rested on seemed to have collapsed. Following which, the plaintiffs were given an opportunity to re-file their case with the clerks at the Northern California District Court. There was also a deadline given to re-file, and the last day they could re-file was yesterday, April 3rd. The plaintiffs decided to withdraw without prejudice, so for now that case seems to be closed.