Disconnect, set up four years ago by former Google engineers, says its app protects users of the Android operating system from invisible tracking and malware distributed through advertisements.

It said Google had abused its position by blocking the app from the Google Play store last year, and had gained an unfair advantage over competitors by integrating its own privacy and security services into its own products.

"They said we interfered with the ability of third parties to serve ads. Google was not willing to engage in a dialogue," Disconnect chief executive Casey Oppenheim said.

Google said Disconnect's complaint was groundless.

"Our Google Play policies have long prohibited apps that interfere with other apps -- such as altering their functionality, or removing their way of making money. We apply this policy uniformly and Android developers strongly support it," spokesman Al Verney said.