Kinderstart Antitrust Claims Dismissed … For Now …

Josh Wright —  15 July 2006

Google’s motion to dismiss Kinderstart’s claims has been granted with leave to amend all claims. Eric Goldman provides commentary, thoughts on the defamation claim, and a link to the court’s order. As far as the antitrust claims go, I commented here that Google’s motion was likely to prevail:

Labeling conduct “anticompetitive� or “exclusionary� is simply not enough under antitrust law to render that conduct actionable under Section 2. And it does not appear that the Kinderstart claim does much more than that.

Indeed, the court noted that Kinderstart had failed “to identify any specific acts by Google that would evince an intent either to control prices in the Search Ad market or to destroy competition in the Search Engine Market, nor has Kinderstart made clear what prices Google allegedly is attempting to control.” The court also emphasized Kinderstart’s failure to sufficiently describe the markets in which it is alleging antitrust injury. I agree with Hanno Kaiser at Antitrust Review about the practice of dismissals without prejudice in instances like this:

Giving the plaintiff one opportunity after another to amend its complaint imposes significant costs on the defendant and, perversely, forces the defendant to help the plaintiff write a reasonable complaint.

Looks like Google will have to shell out a few more bucks before the inevitable dismissal of these particular antitrust claims.