Federal Trade Commission’s Antitrust Investigation of Google Extends to Android

Google is under attack, but stays calm in the midst of multiple allegations against their Web search services and influence over Android. The Federal Trade Commission along with several state attorneys general have been pushing forward with an investigation of Google’s control over Android’s operating system. Canalys, a company that provides research data, has stated that Android currently leads close to half of new smartphones shipped worldwide in the second quarter of this year.

After serving Google with several extensive subpoenas, the FTC continues to investigate whether the report that Google is preventing Android manufacturers from using other competitor services, is true. Google denies all allegations against them, assuring that none of their practices are unfair or illegal. Google believes that the recent increase in antitrust investigations has been a result of rival competitors who have been affected by Google’s aggressive push toward new business sectors.

In a private lawsuit against Google, the Boston-based company Skyhook Wireless Inc. has tried to prove Google otherwise. Skyhook claimed that Google was using its large market share to pressure smartphone manufacturers to drop Skyhook’s location-sensing technology in exchange for Google’s own competing service. Google replied stating that Skyhook’s allegations were unsupported.

Yelp is among other business-review sites that also agree to disagree with Google’s impartial statement, accusing Google of stealing content from their sites and posting it in the Google’s “Places” service. But so far the FTC has not proven Google guilty, and will not for a while since they are just starting an extensive investigation process that can last up to a year or longer. With several civil subpoenas being readied to send out to other parties in request of evidence against Google, the FTC is one step closer to solving the Google problem.


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