(Reuters) - Consumer rights law firm Hagens Berman said it filed a nationwide antitrust class-action lawsuit against Google Inc alleging the company "illegally monopolized" the Internet and mobile search market in the United States.
The lawsuit alleges that Google has expanded its monopoly of the internet search market by pre-loading its applications onto Android mobile devices through its Mobile Application Distribution Agreements.
According to the lawsuit, Google's role in placing this suite of apps, including Google Play and YouTube, has hampered the market and kept the price of devices made by competing manufactures like Samsung Electronics and HTC Corp artificially high.
"It's clear that Google has not achieved this monopoly through offering a better search engine, but through its strategic, anti-competitive placement, and it doesn't take a forensic economist to see that this is evidence of market manipulation," said Steve Berman, the attorney representing consumers.
Google representatives were not immediately available for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.
The case is in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, 5:14-cv-02007-HRL.
Reporting by Arnab Sen in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier