Sorry, Google, but according to the lawsuit Skyhook filed against you today, you’ve crossed the line. Your “don’t be evil” mantra is now officially a joke.
Today, Skyhook announced that it is suing Google for interfering with its business, costing the small company sums exceeding “tens of millions of dollars.”
In short, Skyhook says that Google effectively forced Motorola to cancel a deal with Skyhook in which Skyhook would have provided location-based services in Motorola phones — because Google wanted Motorola to use Google’s own location services instead.
Google’s leverage was threatening to withhold certification of Motorola’s Google Android-based phone, according to Skyhook CEO Ted Morgan, which would have prevented Motorola from selling it.
Google cares about Motorola using Google’s service because collecting location data is worth “billions of dollars” to Google, the complaint alleges. (For more details about the suit, and the lawsuit itself, see our earlier post.)
All’s fair in business, we suppose. But Google is now basically acting like heyday-era Microsoft here, throwing its weight around and screwing over small companies for its own gain. Google Android boss Andy Rubin went as far as to call Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha “multiple times” to impose a “stop ship” order on the company’s phones, according to Skyhook’s complaint.
Also, most companies don’t have mantras like “don’t be evil.” And now, neither can Google — not with a straight face, at least.
This move sounds especially evil because Android is supposed to be an “open” mobile platform for handset makers, with an open ecosystem — one that theoretically lets handset makers and application developers control their own destinies. But it turns out “open” is only “open” in Google’s world if it furthers Google’s aims.