Alphabet and Google is in hot water with antitrust regulators all over the world, with the worst of it focused in Europe, where Google may end up facing literally record-setting fines. Amid all of this, Google's advisory board, already scrambling, is now facing down a local lawsuit from a shareholder, Robert Jessup, who alleges that the board could have prevented the current state of affairs and should compensate Alphabet for any money they stand to lose as a result of the current antitrust proceedings. Jessup went through Robbins Arroyo, a San Diego law firm specializing in this sort of thing, to file his 52-page grievance report in the California state court.
Android lies at the center of this latest suit. Jessup alleges that the board has, by allowing a few select anti-competitive practices to continue through the years, allowed this antitrust situation to descend upon Alphabet. The anti-competitive actions in question include Google's much-criticized Mobile Application Distribution Agreements, which outline the hoops that device makers have to jump through in order to get the Google Play Store to ship on their devices. Though the agreements vary from partner to partner, prominent placement of Google's apps and using Google as the default search engine for all possible outlets, including voice search and voice commands, is on most of these agreements. In essence, manufacturers must include the full suite of Google apps, just the way Google wants them, and make them the default apps, or else they cannot have the Play Store on their device, though they are free to use Android, since it is open-source.
Venture capital wunderkind John Doerr and Stanford University's President, John Hennessy, are among the board members called out by name in the suit. As well as calling for the board to avert harm to shareholders by compensating Alphabet for antitrust-related damages, the suit asks the court to help Alphabet reform their leadership to prevent this sort of thing from happening in the future. The complaint essentially asserts that the board in charge of helping Alphabet make decisions, along with Alphabet leadership, knowingly violated EU antitrust laws, and even goes as cuttingly far as to say that the board tossed aside Google's old motto, "Don't be evil".