A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit accusing Google Inc of harming smartphone buyers by forcing handset makers that use its Android operating system to make the search engine company’s own applications the default option.

Consumers claimed that Google required companies such as Samsung Electronics Co to favor Google apps such as YouTube on Android-powered phones, and restrict rival apps such as Microsoft Corp’s Bing. They said this illegally drove smartphone prices higher because rivals could not compete for the ‘prime screen real estate’ that Google’s apps enjoyed.

But in Friday’s decision, US District Judge said the consumers failed to show that higher prices stemmed from Google’s having illegally forced restrictive contracts on the handset makers. She could not tell how many supply chain levels there were between the handset makers who signed the alleged anticompetitive contracts.

‘Their alleged injuries  are not the necessary means by which defendant is allegedly accomplishing its anticompetitive ends,’ Freeman wrote.