This entrepreneur has fought Google for years. The endgame is near

Unlockd had relied on the Google Play App Store to distribute its products and its mobile ad network AdMob to source ads that users would see when they unlocked their phones. When it was banned, the potential for an IPO was gone and international partners backed off from previously agreed deals.

Insincere Claims

Mr Berriman has continued to insist that Google’s claims that Unlockd was banned for both disrupting the user experience, not being “opt-in” and delivering poor-quality ads were false and disingenuous.

Rather, he claims that Google saw the threat posed by its company, which offers advertising services on phones, before they invaded the Google ecosystem, and also considered monopolizing the space itself.

Also Read :  Brandee Cooke shares how 100K Ideas' video series helps entrepreneurs tell their story

Since Unlockd ended, Google has acquired a significant stake in Glance, a start-up that offers a similar service to Unlockd on a phone’s lock screen, with the company recently being valued at $2 billion. Blick was founded in 2019.

“Glance has redefined the way people use the internet on the lock screen, eliminating the need to search and download apps,” the Google-backed company boasts on its website.

In a promising sign for Unlockd, in August the judge ruling his case rejected Google’s attempt to dismiss another antitrust case against the company – linked to YouTube rival Rumble.

Also Read :  The Virtuous Entrepreneur, Laron Louis – “Making a Difference in the Lives of Youth Through Digital Media & Digital Tech”

If the judge agrees that Unlockd deserves his case to be heard in court, he will begin an investigative process that would require Google to turn over internal communications related to the case.

This would show how executives from Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai to Australian executives came to the decision to ban Unlockd and then ignored his pleas for reinstatement.

“Over four years ago, Unlockd went into administration and as a founder and having been backed by 79 shareholders and $70 million in other people’s money, I owe it to them, despite the personal toll it takes on me to continue to do so to fight the right thing,” Mr Berriman said The Australian Financial Report.

“Big Tech’s anti-competitive behavior must be held accountable. Unlockd is one of many examples our industry has seen recently.”

Also Read :  Local Young Entrepreneur Produces 2nd Chattanooga Calendar

US lawmakers have scrutinized anti-competitive behavior by major tech platforms in recent years. In July, a House Judiciary Committee released a report on competition in the digital marketplace based on a 16-month investigation into the dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.

Supporting investigative documents may have implications for Unlockd’s case, as they show internal Google emails from 2013 alleging that Mr. Pichai was keen on potentially exploiting a phone’s lock screen.

A filing of a report by the US House Judiciary Committee on competition in the digital market showed an email correspondence highlighting Sundar Pichai’s views on the importance of a phone’s lock screen. Judiciary Committee of the US House of Representatives

Speaking to colleagues about various changes in the way Google apps should appear on phones, Patrick Brady, Google’s director of Android development at the time, wrote that Mr. Pichai was keen for Google to “take important real estate.” ‘ how to use the lock screen.

“He’s concerned that the launcher isn’t always the most valuable property since the lock screen is quicker to access,” Mr Brady wrote of Mr Pichai’s feedback.

“For example, if we get a launcher placement, but Facebook and others are accessible from the lock screen, we’re not in good shape.”

Despite initial promises from the Australian Competition Authority to pursue Google in a local antitrust case, Mr. Berriman eventually had to go it alone in the US, where a win would likely do more damage.

Since Unlockd closed, Mr Berriman has been open about his struggles with mental health issues and last December became chair of Mental Health Australia, a pinnacle body working to improve mental health policy.

Last month, he founded a new venture capital firm called RealVC, which will target $50 million for various early-stage start-up investments. On Monday, the company announced its first investment in a video game advertising startup.

He said he was pleased his case against Google could soon get underway and he believed it would help broader efforts to make digital business fairer.

“We look forward to hopefully passing the motion to dismiss to allow us a hearing where discovery will be key to uncovering the involvement of Google’s senior management at the highest level,” said Mr. Berriman.

“This is an important case for all antitrust and competition cases currently pending and we look forward to having our day in court.”