California Crane School, Inc. filed a class action antitrust case [3:21-cv-10001, C.C.S.I. v Google LLC] on 12/27/21 against Google and Apple and the Chief Executive Officers of both companies alleging violations of the Antitrust Laws of the United States.
The complaint charges that Google and Apple agreed that Apple would not compete in the internet search business against Google. The complaint claims that the means used to effectuate the non-compete agreement included:
- Google would share it’s search profits with Apple
- Apple would give preferential treatment to Google for all Apple devices
- Regular secret meetings between the executives of both companies
- Annual multi-billion-dollar payments by Google to Apple not to compete in the search business
- Suppression of the competition of smaller competitors and foreclosing competitors from the search market
- Acquiring actual and potential competitors.
The complaint alleges that advertising rates are higher than rates would be in a competitive system. The complaint seeks the disgorgement of the billion-dollar payments by Google to Apple. The complaint asks for an injunction prohibiting the non-compete agreement between Google and Apple; the profit-sharing agreement; the preferential treatment for Google on Apple devices; and the payment of billions of dollars by Google to Apple.
The complaint also calls for the breakup of Google into separate and independent companies and the breakup of Apple into separate and independent companies.
Attorneys representing the plaintiffs are Joseph M. Alioto and Tatiana V. Wallace of Alioto Law Firm, Lawrence G. Papale of Law Offices of Lawrence G. Papale, Robert J. Bonsignore of Bonsignore Trial Lawyers PLLC, Christopher A. Nedeau of Nedeau Law PC, Josephine Alioto of The Veen Firm, Jeffery K. Perkins of Law Office of Jeffery K. Perkins, Theresa Moore of Law Offices of Theresa D. Moore, Lingel H. Winters of Law Offices of Lingel H. Winters.
One of the issues that I see here is that because of this agreement between Google and Apple, smaller search engines, who are actually competitors of Google, cannot get a chance to be embedded into Apple’s products. If you’re a smaller search engine trying to get more market share, then getting your search engine into Apple’s products would help. But you’re unable to do that because of this agreement between Google and Apple.