Stock photography website alleges Google favors Shutterstock, its own services

By Noddy A. Fernandez | Apr 4, 2018

SAN JOSE, Calif. (Legal Newsline) – A stock photography website alleges Google is attempting to "squeeze ... its competitors out of the online stock photography business."

Dreamstime.com LLC filed a complaint on March 28 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division against Google LLC and Does 1-10 over alleged violation of the Sherman Act and breach of contract.

According to the complaint, "in or about the second half of 2015, sensing an opportunity to exploit its monopoly power in the online search advertising market by restraining trade in other lucrative related lines of commerce like online stock photography repositories, Google began to abuse its monopoly power in the online search advertising market to exclude Dreamstime from the most common online searches for stock photography."

"Google intentionally altered its search algorithm – or, at least, how that algorithm was applied to Dreamstime – to unfairly prejudice Dreamstime and favor Google’s own services and those of its partner, Shutterstock, providing them an unearned and crucial competitive advantage over Dreamstime," the suit states.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks to be awarded actual, compensatory, and/or consequential damages; attorneys' fees; prejudgment interest; and for such other and further relief that the court deems just and proper. It is represented by Jaime Marquart and Donald Pepperman of Baker Marquart LLP in Los Angeles and James Bailey of Bailey Duquette PC in New York.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division case number 3:18-cv-01910-MEJ

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Google, Inc. U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division

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