Google sued by consumer rights firm, report says

A consumer rights law firm says it has sued Google, alleging that the company has "illegally monopolized" the Internet and mobile search market in the United States.

The firm, Hagens Berman, said Friday it filed a nationwide antitrust class-action suit, alleging that Google has expanded its reach by pre-loading its applications onto Android smartphones via its Mobile Application Distribution Agreements, Reuters reported.

By placing apps such as Google Play and YouTube, Google has made competition more difficult for other companies, contributing to higher prices for competitors such as Samsung Electronics and HTC Corp., the suit alleges.

"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," Steve Berman, the attorney representing consumers, told Reuters.

Google representatives could not be immediately reached for comment.

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