U.S. consumer smartphone lawsuit against Google plays into rivals’ hands

“A U.S. consumer lawsuit accusing Google of monopolizing prime real estate on Android smartphones will help mobile rivals like Microsoft make their antitrust case with European regulators should damaging secrets emerge in court,” Dan Levine reports for Reuters.

“The suit, filed in California federal court in May by two smartphone consumers, said Google requires handset manufacturers such as Samsung Electronics Co Ltd to restrict competing apps like Microsoft’s Bing search on Android phones, partly by making Google’s own apps the default,” Levine reports. “Google argued last week the proposed class action should be dismissed because consumers still are free to use the other apps. The plaintiffs counter that most consumers either don’t know how to switch default settings, or will not go to the trouble.”

“If a judge lets the lawsuit proceed, plaintiffs’ attorneys would be allowed to delve into internal Google emails and contracts with smartphone companies, and could interview Google executives under oath, said Steve Berman, who represents the consumers,” Levine reports. “Any damaging evidence from the class action would play into the hands of Google’s rivals. Microsoft spokesman Jack Evans said the company “is not a party” to the consumer lawsuit, but last year a group of companies – including Microsoft, Oracle, Nokia, Expedia, and TripAdvisor – filed a complaint with European antitrust regulators over some of the same issues in the U.S. lawsuit.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Open.”

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

41 Comments

  1. One aspect is ease of use. If the setting is not easy to find and change, this would add to the plaintiff’s case. Since few things on Android are obvious, I either support the plaintiffs OR urge them to get a refund and switch to iPhone for their cell usage.

    1. [OK. Test worked. Let’s try that again WordPress!]

      Indeed, Android is NOT ‘open source’ as this clearly shows:

      Google requires handset manufacturers such as Samsung Electronics Co Ltd to restrict competing apps…

      Follow the proprietary rules Google dictates. NOT open source.

        1. The word has an amusing origin, based upon a particularly nefarious judge nominated to the US Supreme Court. [He was closely associated with Richard Nixon, Watergate and arch conservatism. Neo-con suckers will now proceed to rant at me…]. The process of making dead certain his nomination failed lead to the verb ‘to bork’. It was elaborated upon from there into its present meaning, as found in Urban Dictionary:

          To have totally [censored] something up. Usually by doing something stupid. Specifically used to describe technology that is broken.

          Example 1….
          Admin: ‘I totally borked my machine installing Win XP SP2.’

          Example 2….
          “I can’t come over at the moment…my car is borked”.

          I enjoy playing around with words, slang, euphemisms, idioms, sounds…

          1. Wrong. Judge Bork was not nefarious. He was slandered by Democrats who had just regained the Senate in the 1986 mid-term elections, who came out with knives to protect a vacating “swing vote” SCOTUS seat.

            In an unprecedented campaign of slander, to “bork” became synonymous with “calumniate.”

            I remember. I watched the hearings. It was appalling. And Joe Biden was the lead attack dog in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

            1. Derek is typically wrong when it comes to slandering the right. Never tells the full story, omits important facts and goes left-wing nut with cutesy put downs and imaginary conclusions. What was done to Judge Bork and Clarence Thomas by the Democrats was outright deceitful and despicable. Biden was the worst of the lynch mob. Thanks for setting the record straight

            2. I hate you ‘NeoCon’. I think you picked that up nicely.

              Clarence Thomas (ask the other Supreme Court members) is an embarrassment to jurisprudence, worthless on the bench, a political appointee deluxe specifically because yes BLACK and a YES MAN to the neo-con-job lunatics. Tada! How’s that for a put down that’s based on verifiable fact? Don’t you just love <3 me? Ripping the masks off psychopaths, haters, trolls on the Internet since 1996, and loving it. Others so inclined, please join in. It's fun and a service to mankind at large. 😀

            1. So we’ll have a dual at dawn while balanced on the idiotic 1 dimensional political spectrum.

              Sorry, but that’s dumdum world from my perspective. There are aspects of socialism that are basic humane treatment of others. Then there’s the idiocy of dire socialism that destroys personal incentive, witness witless China, North Korea, Cuba, which has no choice but going totalitarian.

              At the other end of the stupid 1 dimensional spectrum are the full blown psychopathic, brain damaged neo-conservatives whom Ronald Reagan wisely called ‘The Crazies’ because are crazy. They’ve F*KED my country into a tottering catastrophe of debt, paranoia, fear, uncertainty and doubt. To hell with them all for spreading their sickness into my country. And the same to you if you’re part of their cult.

              I live OFF the stupid line, OUT of the box, thinking for myself, viewing the world from a far more complex and insightful perspective specifically because I demanded that of myself. I wish everyone would do the same and contribute their insightful perspectives to the conversation rather than talking like juveniles from the perspective of a moronic 1 dimensional politard line of merely left, right and center. That bullshit is obviously a dead end.

              Grow, learn, express what you see. Don’t rot, stagnate and blowhard nonsense from a child’s perspective.

            2. NO. Let’s be clear here: I’m part conservative in my outlook. I’ve ‘burned’ liberals who have, get this, said that it’s a good thing to OVER-spend the US budget on social services. NO IT’S NOT! I personally demand fiscal responsibility.

              But then there are the ‘NEO-Conservatives’, whom I would NEVER EVER consider to be actual conservatives. I instead consider them to be insane to the point of criminal and psychopathic.

              There’s a VAST difference.

            3. There are those of us who paint from palettes of our own bright-minded devising, taking promising colours from interesting parts of the spectrum. Then there are those who paint by-the-numbers.

            4. Criminal?

              Psychopath?

              Clueless?

              Not the NeoCons. We get it! You only have to look in the mirror Delusional Derek.

              My advice is to stick to tech where you fare much better than brainwashed dogma talking points from the left.

              Have a nice day.

            5. Oh no. I’m quite clear and deliberate in my points about the neo-cons. There are already enough facts known about the dirty doings of the GW Bush administration to put them in jail, if anyone bothered. Neither Bush nor Cheney dare travel to Europe where they’d be in danger of arrest and trial for crimes against humanity.

              Just you wait until ALL the facts of 9/11 are on the table. Cry little psychopathic neo-con-jobs cry. You were found out. You really have been ‘The Crazies’ all this time. Shame on my country’s citizens for not seeing through the Neo-Con-Job.

              Now get lost anonymous coward rot-for-grains ‘NeoCon’. It’s time for your diaper change.

            6. Wow, you really are on the brink.

              And what a nice guy, “hate you” and “get lost.” Seriously?

              What IS lost is your over the top HATRED for the fine presidential stewardship of George W. Bush and the most progressive party in the U.S. right now: Neoconservatives.

              Unlike clueless liberal ranters we don’t practice HATE, we vote for ALL parties and points of view backing the best people. Political philosophy runs from liberal to conservative depending on the best ideas.

              Not fitting into a neat box is probably what makes you uneasy and difficult to wrap around, cough, cough, an open mind.

              Oh, and please don’t get lost, Derek. You’re too much fun to read even if wrought with factual errors, misinterpretation and hyperbole. 🙂

            7. I guess you missed an explosive poll the other week that confirmed Ronald Reagan was voted the best prez and O the worst.

              Thinking outside the box is great, but selective use of the facts that intentionally distort is despicable.

              So, please stop.

  2. “The plaintiffs counter that most consumers either don’t know how to switch default settings, or will not go to the trouble.”

    And that is exactly what Google designed and hoped for.

  3. Google argued last week the proposed class action should be dismissed because consumers still are free to use the other apps.

    What, seriously? This argument didn’t work for Microsoft 20 years ago — why would Google think it would work for them?

    ——RM

    1. Actually the Microsoft case was *radically* different, or don’t you remember the details?

      Microsoft integrated the IE browser INTO the Windows OS and claimed it was a required, integral part of the operating system that could not be easily removed without crippling the Windows OS itself. This was not bundling IE. It was not designating it as the default app. It was making it so that IE was the *only* viable browser in Windows unless you went to a LOT of trouble that 99.9% of the users out there did not have the expertise to do.

      Microsoft’s purpose in doing this was to take Microsoft’s OS monopoly (running 95+% at the time) and turn it virtually overnight into a browser monopoly. Before Microsoft integrated IE into Windows, IE had less than a 30% browser share (some estimates gave it less than a 15% browser share). Within a few months after MS integrated IE into Windows, IE’s share jumped up to over 70%.

      This is what Microsoft did that was illegal. It utilized one monopoly to *force* the expansion of use and adoption of another product. This is illegal under U.S. anti trust law.

      Bundling apps and having a default app has never been illegal. (If it were, Apple would be sued over Safari and several other apps!)

      1. No, I’m sorry, but I’m pretty sure you’re wrong here. Yes, Microsoft integrated IE into Windows, but that was part of their defense, not the target of the lawsuit. The targeted behavior was the abuse of their monopoly position by bundling IE.

        You’re right: Apple can’t get sued over their bundling of Safari. This is because Apple does not have a monopoly. If Apple was supplying 90%+ of desktop OS installations, they damn sure would be sued by makers of alternate browsers, as well as makers of other types of software bundled in OS X.

        Microsoft’s defense against the accusation of non-competitive behavior was two-fold:

        First, that it wasn’t really a problem, because no one was stopping people from installing other browsers. (As I said above.)

        Second, that even if Microsoft wanted to remove IE, they couldn’t. This is what you’re referring to. This was also proven false by hackers hired by the plaintiffs, who showed that IE could indeed be removed with Windows remaining functional.

        So yes, I do remember the details. A little better than you do, apparently.

        ——RM

    1. Oh…..you mean they can stop OJ from benefitting from any book deals, film deals, interviews, etc etc that have anything to do with his case BUT they can’t tell if Google income has anything to do with Android?

      Seems to me the law tries very hard in OJ’s case but may shrug it’s shoulders in Googles case. Great system!

    2. If it’s claimed as “open source” then it should BE open source and that means no preferential treatment, even to Goofle. Upon setting up an Android phone (if you must) you should be given choices then and there to pick from. End of story.

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