Gab, the free speech social network, has filed a lawsuit against Google after they were suspended without warning from Google’s Play Store last month.
The social network, which boasts itself as a platform for everyone and recently raised over $1 million in public investment, was suddenly suspended and removed from Google Play for “hate speech,” despite the fact that it had been available on the platform for several months.
“Free speech social media site Gab AI, Inc. filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Google for violations of the Clayton Act and Sherman Act,” declared the company in a blog post, Friday. “The lawsuit stems from Google removing Gab from its Google Play Android app store on spurious grounds of ‘hate speech’ arising from posts by users.”
“Google did not accuse Gab of hate speech, but used third party content as a pretext to justify its own business ends,” they continued. “Gab, a startup, aims to bring ‘folks together of all races, religions, and creeds who share in the common ideals of Western values, individual liberty and the free exchange and flow of information.'”
Gab’s attorney, Marc Randazza, claimed in a statement that Google’s actions against Gab were “a straightforward violation of the antitrust laws.”
“Google Play and Android have monopoly power in the app store market, and Google’s apps YouTube and Google+ compete directly against Gab,” claimed Randazza. “Google’s intimate partnership with Twitter, which also competes against Gab, makes Google’s control of all Android apps available through the Play Store a serious restraint of trade issue.”
“Regardless of Google’s pretextual justification for removing Gab, the effect is that they used their monopoly power in the app store to block an upstart competitor it in the social media app market,” he added. “To the detriment of millions of consumers who value free speech.”
Gab CEO Andrew Torba also released a statement on the lawsuit, calling Google “the biggest threat to the free flow of information.”
“Gab started to fight against the big tech companies in the marketplace, and their monopolistic conduct has forced us to bring the fight to the courtroom,” Torba declared. “We are going to be outspent and outgunned, but we believe we have the law — and basic principles of fairness — on our side.”
“This may be a David and Goliath fight,” he concluded. “But remember: David won.”
In an email to Breitbart Tech, Gab COO and Global Affairs Director, Utsav Sanduja, confirmed, “Gab used the resources donated to us by the community to help us in our fight against corporate injustice and thought-censorship.”
After Breitbart Tech asked Sanduja whether Gab planned to file similar lawsuits against Apple, who also repeatedly banned the social network from their store, or other major technology companies, he replied, “Gab is exploring all options on the table.”