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Google Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit Over Default Search on Android Phones 221

Posted by Soulskill
from the same-problems,-different-decade dept.
itwbennett writes: "A class-action lawsuit filed Thursday (PDF) accuses Google of strong-arming device manufacturers into making its search engine the default on Android devices, driving up the cost of those devices and hurting consumers. The suit does not argue that device manufacturers entered Mobile Application Distribution Agreements involuntarily, but that the market power of Google compels them to. 'Because consumers want access to Google's products, and due to Google's power in the U.S. market for general handheld search, Google has unrivaled market power over smartphone and tablet manufacturers,' says the suit."
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Google Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit Over Default Search on Android Phones

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  • by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Friday May 02, 2014 @10:31AM (#46898983) Homepage Journal
    What this lawsuit requests is that operators of other search engines be allowed to pay phone makers and carriers to make a particular search provider the default on a particular make and model.
  • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Friday May 02, 2014 @11:05AM (#46899329)
    Maybe you should ask the EU about their solution for Microsoft []. In 2009, IE was easily removed from Windows, and for years prior it had been easy to set the default search engine to anything else. Yet the EU still wanted a browser ballot on first boot.
  • Re:flame on! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BasilBrush (643681) on Friday May 02, 2014 @11:49AM (#46899843)

    Also, the fact that it gives a different set of results to everyone based on what information they've spied about you is a big problem. No longer can you give a search term to someone else with the knowledge that if they do the search they will get pretty much the same results.

    Duck Duck Go is useful for that reason too.

  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Friday May 02, 2014 @12:04PM (#46900013) Homepage Journal

    I'm not sure there's any specific demand for Google search per-se on mobile devices. For a search feature, perhaps, but if a phone were to be shipped with Bing installed and Google search disabled, few people would notice beyond the non-search features that for some reason Google bundles into their search app.

    I disabled Google Search on my phone a while ago. The reason, bizarrely, is that voice dialing is implemented by that app, and voice dialing has become so awful lately (unusable, actually) that combined with my temper when I get frustrated I consider it a dangerous feature to have even available as an option when I'm driving.

    Yes, you have to disable Google Search to disable voice dialing. No, that doesn't make any sense.

    But you can do it. And the only thing you notice related to search itself is that the largely unnecessary search box disappears from the Android main screen. Google Now obviously disappears too. And the next time you reboot, if you installed the Bing app, you'll find the search box has reappeared, only now it searches with Bing. Which is odd.

    And as someone who now uses a phone with Bing search installed instead of Google, I can honestly say that there's no advantage one has over the other. Not when it comes to actual search, anyway. And I doubt my mother would notice either.

The best way to avoid responsibility is to say, "I've got responsibilities."