Australian tech startup Unlockd has taken out an injunction with the UK High Court against Google’s AdMob, in a bid to prevent the internet company from disabling AdMob generated advertising content and removing Unlockd apps from its Google Play Store.
“Unlockd’s legal counsel has confidence that the threats made by Google to withdraw access and the supply of services in respect of Google Play and AdMob represent an abuse of its dominant position and breach of competition rules,” the firm which was founded in Melbourne in 2014, said in a statement.
Unlockd offers a service enabling users to accumulate points which may be redeemed on items like mobile credit or data, premium entertainment content or loyalty points, in exchange for viewing targeted ads, content or offers when they unlock their smartphones.
They can also complete other in-app tasks like taking surveys, downloading apps and viewing videos to generate more points to be redeemed on rewards.
Unlockd said its legal counsel was confident that the threats made by Google to withdraw access and the supply of services in respect of Google Play and AdMob represented an abuse of its dominant position and breach of competition rules.
“It is particularly striking that Google’s warnings emerged at a time of speculation around an Unlockd IPO in mid-April 2018,” its statement continued. “Google’s anti-competitive conduct is preventing Unlockd from raising capital to continue its rapid expansion and innovation, and therefore protecting Google from a growing and potential competitor.”
Unlocked said its planned IPO had been postponed pending the resolution of the matter. “Notwithstanding the legal action, we continue to explore all possible avenues to find a solution that works for both parties and avoids unnecessary disruption to our partners and customers,” it added.