Skyhook

Richard Waters

Does Google trample on tech start-ups that get in the way of its larger advertising ambitions?

That’s what Skyhook, a small company whose software is used in handsets to identify their location,  says in a lawsuit filed in Massachusetts on Wednesday. It accuses the search giant of twisting the arm of Motorola, forcing it to eject Skyhook’s software (and replacing it with Google’s own) as a condition of being able to ship Android handsets.

There’s no question that location data is becoming a very valuable resource in mobile advertising, so Google had plenty of incentive. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s guilty as charged (it’s funny how the mere filing of a commercial dispute like this brings out a rash of stories on the Web about Google’s supposed willingness to “do evil”.) Read more