Chinese mobile security and search engine company Qihoo 360 has lost yet another lawsuit. According to TechWeb, a Beijing court has ruled in favor of Sogou in an unfair competition lawsuit. The court has ordered Qihoo to pay Sogou 51 million yuan ($8.2 million) in damages. Sogou had sued Qihoo in 2013. The Sohu.com-owned search engine had accused that Qihoo Defender security software would block users from installing Sogou’s web browser.
Qihoo is better off cutting its losses
Sogou alleged that even if users installed its browser, Qihoo Defender would prevent them from making it their default browser. Qihoo has its own web browser and search engine. The court found that the Internet security company’s behavior constituted unfair competition. The court added that Internet companies that have products in multiple segments of the industry must not use their dominance in one sector to strong-arm users into using its products in other sectors.
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Qihoo has the choice to appeal the ruling to a higher court. But Tech in Asia notes that the company is better off paying the $8.2 million to Sogou in damages and closing the chapter. In the past few years, the company has suffered several defeats in legal battles. For instance, when local courts rejects Qihoo’s suit against Tencent relating to the 3Q war, the company took it to China’s Supreme Court. But the Supreme Court held up that rejection last year.
An impressive history of losing lawsuits
In 2013, Qihoo lost two lawsuits to Tencent and Baidu, both related to unfair competition. The company was asked to pay damages and publish apologies to both rivals. Baidu had sued the company for stealing its Web site content and showing data from Baidu’s forums into Qihoo’s search queries. Tencent had filed a lawsuit against Qihoo in 2012, alleging that the latter’s “KouKou Bodyguard” security software modified Tencent’s chat platform QQ, and stopped QQ from running on PCs installed with Qihoo security software.
Separately, Qihoo announced that it would invest 200 million yuan to form a joint venture with Netcore to expand into the Internet smart router market.