Alphabet, the parent company of Google, emerged victorious in an antitrust lawsuit accusing the tech giant of leveraging its market dominance to control the GPS navigation sector through Waze and Google Maps, consequently inflating the cost of digital mapping services, reported Bloomberg Law.
The ruling came from Judge Richard Seeborg of the US District Court for the Northern District of California on Thursday, as he granted Google’s motion to dismiss. The judge argued that the plaintiffs’ antitrust claims were undermined by the existence of several competitors offering mapping services that are deemed “as good as or better in terms of performance and/or cost.”
Last year, digital advertising business Dream Big Media and other plaintiffs initiated a proposed class action, asserting that Google compelled users of digital mapping products into a bundled service, known as a “tying” agreement. Subsequently, Google allegedly increased the costs associated with these products.
Judge Seeborg’s order emphasized that the presence of robust competition from alternatives such as Apple Maps and MapQuest weakened the argument that Google’s services were monopolistic. He stated, “Competitors to Google’s mapping products include Apple Maps and MapQuest, which undermine any argument that each service could be both tying and tied.”
This case is just one among several targeting Alphabet’s Google unit, alleging antitrust violations in various online markets, including search, advertising, and app distribution through the Google Play Store. Notably, Google’s $1.1 billion acquisition of mapping app Waze in 2013 drew scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission.
The recent decision follows a US antitrust trial that concluded last month, focusing on Department of Justice allegations that Google maintained a monopoly over search, controlling nearly 90% of online queries. The tech giant was represented by Jones Day, while the plaintiffs were represented by ESQgo PC, Nematzadeh PLLC, and Balestriere Fariello.
Source: News Bloomberg Law