Complainants in an anti-trust lawsuit against Google have withdrawn their case accusing the tech giant of harming consumers by forcing Smartphone makers to use its apps by default.
The lawsuit, filed by two plaintiffs last May in San Jose, California, was denied class action status in a Feb. 20 ruling by U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman.
The plaintiffs alleged Google forced mobile device makers like Samsung to not only pre-install its apps but to set Google search as the default, even though Android is billed as an open platform. But Freeman said the consumers had failed to prove that higher prices were in any way caused by Google preventing competitors from innovating due to restrictive contracts.
She gave the plaintiffs three weeks to amend their complaint.
Lawyers representing the plaintiffs did not respond to requests for comments.
Google, however, pointed out that Android Smartphones could be used without Google — which the company also argued in its court filings.
“Since Android’s introduction, greater competition in Smartphones has given consumers more choices at lower prices,” Google spokesman Aaron Stein told Reuters.
Google is no stranger to anti-trust accusations.
The European Union launched an informal investigation in 2013 into how Google uses its Android operating system to “dominate the mobile marketplace.”
The investigation stemmed from a joint complaint lodged with the European Union by FairSearch, a group of 17 technology and search companies that includes Microsoft, Expedia, Oracle and Nokia. FairSearch asked the EU to probe Google’s “anti-competitive strategy to dominate the mobile marketplace.”
In February, Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) of Russia announced it would move forward with the case against the tech titan after receiving a complaint from Russian Internet firm Yandex that Google was breaching Russian anti-trust law with the bundling of its search app and other services with the Android operating system.