An anti-trust lawsuit against search engine giant Google was dismissed by a US federal judge on Friday, but the plaintiffs were allowed three weeks time to amend their complaint.
The lawsuit was filed by two consumers who accused the tech company of harming its consumers by forcing the smartphone makers of Android-based devices to use Google-based applications by default.
In a February 20 ruling, US District Judge Beth Labson Freeman observed that the plaintiffs failed to show how the alleged illegal restrictive contracts by Google on Android devices manufacturers led in higher prices of the phones.
Seeking a class-action status for the lawsuit, the petitioners has said that the search engine company required manufacturers, including Samsung Electronics, to set its own apps as default options on the smartphone based on Android technology. This restricted the accessibility to competing software like Bing search engine by Microsoft.
According to the lawsuit, the alleged Google’s practice narrowed down the competition in the big market of search engines, subdued innovation and also resulted in making phones dearer.
But Freeman observed that the petitioners failed to establish a relation between phone pricing and software requirements.
In her ruling, Freeman noted, “there are no facts alleged to indicate that defendant’s conduct has prevented consumers from freely choosing among search products or prevented competitors from innovating.”
The judge gave the petitioners three weeks time to amend their antitrust complaint and make their case stronger.
The case was filed at the US District Court in Northern District of California.