Australian mobile advertising start-up Unlockd has won a temporary reprieve in its fight with Google.
The company announced today that the English High Court has granted it an interim injunction to prevent Google from removing Unlockd apps from the Google Play Store and cutting off advertising revenue from its AdMob platform.
The court also accepted the need for an expedited trial date, which is expected to be at held either at the end of July or September. The exact date will be decided on Monday in a follow up hearing.
UPDATE: 15/04/2018: The court confirmed an expedited trial date of September.
Last month Unlockd announced it was delaying its planned IPO after Google threatened to disable AdMob-generated advertising content and remove Unlockd apps from the Google Play Store.
Google is arguing Unlockd — which shows users ads on their smartphone in return for loyalty points or other rewards — is in breach of its terms of service. While Unlockd is arguing it has complied with Google’s rules and that the search giant’s behaviour is anti-competitive.
“Unlockd has created a revolutionary platform that is fundamentally changing the way that people interact with the world of advertising, by returning value to users in exchange for their attention in a way that Google and the other big tech companies do not,” Unlockd said in a statement today.
“We are confident that we will demonstrate at trial that our case represents a further example of anti-competitive conduct on the part of Google, toward innovative start-ups such as ourselves that might pose a future threat to their dominance in the market.”
Google has not taken any action against Unlockd and currently the business is operating as usual around the world.
“The court’s decision to grant an interim injunction and order an expedited trial date validates our strong stand to protect our business, our partners and 330,000 active users to whom this threat could cause irreparable harm and disruption.”
The injunction only applies to its UK business but Unlockd said it didn’t expect Google to take any action in its other markets while the dispute is ongoing.
“Despite this positive ruling, the limited scope of the interim injunction is disappointing and we will continue to explore our legal options to protect our interests fully, both in the UK and globally,” the statement reads.
“However, we would not expect Google to take unilateral action against our other businesses in Australia and the United States in circumstances where the court has made a clear order in the UK preventing such action.”