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Federal Trade Commission's Google antitrust probe includes Android as well

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Federal Trade Commission's Google antitrust probe includes Android as well
The FTC is currently reviewing Google's procedures and policies for antitrust issues. The probe mostly covers search and privacy practices, but recently we learned that it also includes Android for some reason.

While the mobile industry can hardly be called uncompetitive in this very moment, Android went from zero to hero and almost fifty percent of the smartphone market worldwide in just three years, so the FTC is looking into how much power Google has to exert pressure on app developers and device manufacturers to get its way.

Compared to the other mobile operating systems Android is pretty open, free and popular, plus there are a number of handsets that use generic Android without Google Services on it - no Android Market, no Maps, no Gmail, and so on. Moreover, companies are often installing their own software, like Sprint with its ID packs, Verizon using Bing, and manufacturers have their own skins like Sense UI. 

The FTC, however, is apparently not satisfied, and is issuing inquiries into third parties whether Google is flexing muscles when it comes to replacing its core services with something foreign to the ecosystem. A case in point has been the lawsuit filed by Skyhook, which accuses El Goog in applying pressure on manufacturers to drop its localization technology from their handsets, and keep Google's service. "Baseless" has been the only comment by Mountain View regarding the accusation, but it definitely looks like Android is being pressured on many fronts right now - whether this is a concerted campaign, or just that success always attracts the spotlight, remains to be seen.

For all we know, the Justice Department has launched a probe whether the Nortel patent bid by Apple, Microsoft, RIM, Sony and others, has been purposefully won by these cutthroat competitors for the patents to be used against Android's domination. Google is not sitting still too - it bought more than a thousand patents from IBM, spent record amount of $2.06 million on lobbying in Q2 2011, and is hiring 12 more K street firms to protect its interests with Uncle Sam.

source: WSJ

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posted on 11 Aug 2011, 11:29 2

1. gallitoking (Posts: 4721; Member since: 17 May 2011)

the road looks tought ahead.. Google,... good luck...

posted on 11 Aug 2011, 14:32

6. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

when the going gets rough the though get going.... Google got into the mobile market foreseeing PC market may not be of much revenue anymore, and its true that with their own OS they have more chances of becoming relevant on the market (specially with bing among other services trying to buy themselves to customers) Google with its 40% smartphone OS share may become a target for everyone's eye and they could be taken down.... I don't see Google offering as many services from them as possible on their android phones being any different that what Microsoft is doing with Bing, Xbox and live services on their WP7 handsets

posted on 11 Aug 2011, 12:07 3

2. sunilmathew (Posts: 5; Member since: 08 Aug 2011)

best wishes google. on trying to keep the smartphone market from being a monopoly.

posted on 11 Aug 2011, 12:17 2

3. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)

Lol, Android fans so quick to defend Foogle, they don't realize that Google itself acts like a monopolistic beast. Google's just mad because it lost those patents. Suck it up and shut up and come out with a better OS

posted on 11 Aug 2011, 12:43 4

4. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)

lol android can do more than your precious ios...maybe apple who are sooo ''originial'' should stop taking other peoples idea point in case ios5 how many of the sooo called amazing new features have been apples ideas lol you apple fanboys are really deluded

posted on 11 Aug 2011, 13:50 2

5. ngo2dd (Posts: 896; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)

Ya it is a monopoly with freedom. There are tablet like the nook color that don't use any Google service including the market place. Verizon phone have bing search as the default. I guess you did not read the article did you. God you are a troll.

posted on 11 Aug 2011, 14:34 1

7. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

because that's your best argument.......

posted on 12 Aug 2011, 02:38

11. droidnator (Posts: 90; Member since: 10 Mar 2011)

You are partly right, Google is huge and it is overtaking the internet, as is other areas. It could become a monopolist, and is close to it even now. Still, it's much better than apple (never with a capital letter!), which imposes way too many restrictions on its customers. With Google you have much more choice and much more freedom. And you are just a hater and a little troll, hungry for attention. Get a life, you keyboard bangin' wannabe wrestler :)

posted on 11 Aug 2011, 16:09

8. saiki4116 (Posts: 404; Member since: 31 Mar 2011)

why the hell they dont look from the consumer point of view.........google is using its power to reduce crapware coming along with the device

posted on 11 Aug 2011, 17:09

9. stealthd (unregistered)

If Google is financing Android with money made from search and ads and then just giving it away, that could be considered anti-competitive. ~50% market share makes them big, the possibility of their free product keeping other mobile OS's out of the market can make them bad. Being big and bad gets you the attention of the DOJ.

For comparison, Apple doesn't have enough dominance in mobile to be considered "big" in terms of antitrust, and while their legal proceedings might be called anticompetitive, their market activities wouldn't be considered "bad".

posted on 11 Aug 2011, 22:52

10. remixfa (Posts: 14604; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

are you kidding. the exact things that the DoJ is looking into google for, apple has done. flexing muscles at app makers? yea, apple does that 24/7.

Google might be getting attention because its so big, but nothing will come of it. The OS is too open and Big G is very hands off as much as possible... especially when you compare them to MS and Apple's highly controlled OS's

Google isnt exerting its muscle. Consumers are. Android is destroying iOS because consumers want it. "iPhone" may be synonymous with "smartphone" to many people, but most of them still buy android when they see the difference.

posted on 12 Aug 2011, 19:38

12. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)

Apple pays FTC or soneone behind doors to stop GOOGLE and Samsung plus few other companies too (just a thought). Apple is VERY AFRAID OF ANDROID and thats why their suing. Only thing I HATE bout APPLE is their BIG GREEDY EGO. They think their number one and they plan to stay that way and as long their stock is up too. Thats why their suing every one in the industry.l which makes me sick to my stomach that APPLE thinks they have a right to sue every body just because Android copies the iPhone

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