An antitrust lawsuit that Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is seeking to have dismissed could provide ammunition to its competitors as they try to make arguments to European antitrust regulators, especially if the case reveals damaging secrets. The search giant is facing a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California from two smartphone customers, who filed a proposed class-action suit against Google in May. The suit alleges that the way in which Google licenses Android to smartphone companies is unfair to Google's competitors for search and other mobile services. The plaintiffs' lawyers argue that Google forces OEMs to set its own search engine as the default search function on Android phones, putting competitors at a disadvantage.
Google argued that if an OEM opts to install Google apps it can also preload competing apps. And consumers can replace Google as the default search engine by changing settings on their phones. The plaintiffs' lawyers argued that most consumers are unlikely to do so.
As Reuters notes, if a judge lets the lawsuit proceed, the plaintiffs' attorneys would be allowed to scour internal Google emails and contracts with smartphone vendors and could interview Google executives under oath. Google declined to comment, and a hearing on Google's bid to dismiss the case is scheduled for October.
Last year a group of companies, including Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Nokia (NYSE:NOK), Oracle, Expedia and TripAdvisor, filed a complaint with European antitrust regulators over some of the same issues in the U.S. lawsuit. Article