FTC subpoenas Apple in Google antitrust inquiry

FTC subpoenas Apple in Google antitrust inquiry

Summary: The FTC has subpoenaed Apple over use of Google as the iPhone's and iPad's default search engine, as the regulator continues its inquiry into the search giant's business practices.

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The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has subpoenaed Apple as the regulator continues its antitrust investigation into Google, reports Bloomberg's Adam Satariano.

Sources claim that the FTC is interested in seeing the terms of the agreement between Apple and Google over the preferred search engine on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices.

AllThingsD independently confirmed the FTC's subpoena of Apple a short time ago.

Microsoft criticised the agreement between Apple and Google as anti-competitive, though iOS devices nevertheless includes Microsoft's search engine Bing as an option, but not by default.

Apple has hosted Google as iOS' default search engine since the device was introduced in 2007. Apple also favours Google Maps in the mobile operating system over competing services like Microsoft's Bing Maps.

The FTC's investigation into Google is looking into the search and mobile giant's business practices, particularly focusing on whether Google could be abusing its position in the mobile advertising market to boost its revenue.

Details of the relationship between Apple and Google could be crucial in the FTC's ongoing investigation.

European authorities are also investigating Google's business practices in line with the United States. Europe's antitrust commissioner Joaquin Almunia told Reuters in January to expect to rule by the end of March, just over a fortnight from now.

If Google is found to be in violation of European antitrust laws, it could face a fine of up to 10 percent of its global annual turnover, could be in the region of $3--$4 billion (€2.3--€3.1 billion).

Apple and Google did not respond for comments at the time of writing.

Image source: ZDNet. Article source: Bloomberg.

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Topics: Enterprise Software, Apple, Google, Security

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10 comments
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  • Bing is the IE Default

    On every new Windows installation, IE is the default browser and Bing is the default search engine in IE. And it's even harder to change that now than it used to be. Where's the investigation into that???
    DayTrader$
    • Not,

      I guess you have never read the question when installing IE and setting up a new PC if you would like to use the express settings, to set Bing ETC, or choose your own defaults.
      At least it???s an option, but I will agree most people who do read them will choose the express settings.
      bates40
    • Bing on the PC

      This is completely different. In this case you are booting up a MS product and it defaults to MS products. Did you really expect it to start Safari? If the iPhone was going to some Apple search engine then I doubt this would be an issue, but since it is going to a 3rd party then the question is why. Seems to me it has to go somewhere as a default. My Android from AT&T goes to Yahoo by default. Has to come someplace.
      boomchuck1
  • Google is better

    Than Because It's No Good (BING), Also Microsoft is using BING as the default; to try, and leverage their desktop monopoly, to create a search monopoly.
    Jumpin Jack Flash
    • Yeah its not like Google is trying to leverage their search monopoly

      Oh right, I forgot, only M$ can be an evil monopoly!

      Whatever...
      otaddy
      • Whatever said the troll...

        From under the bridge. That is where you belong, under your bridge, so back you must go.
        Jumpin Jack Flash
  • Although I do see Google pushing the monopoly ...

    ... the fact is that Google search is STILL the best product in the market.

    Bing is just mildly acceptable, but it is not that good at the job. When I search on Google, I usually find the correct answer on the top of the 1st page. When the few times I used Bing, the top half of the page where completely unrelated links and I always had to look at the 2nd page to find what I wanted.

    And don't ever search for anything software related on Bing. You search for "Linux" and 3/4 of the 1st page will try to force you into MS related stories.
    wackoae
  • Bing is better

    I have been using Bing since 2009, and always find relevant results and the results are better presented. The only problem with bing is that its only available in certain countries. If it had the same coverage as google, apple would have dumped google search long time ago.
    owllnet
    • Bin is better, only...

      In your opinion. For millions, Bing does not suit their needs, so we refuse to use it. But that's the joy of freedom, and competition, You are not forced to use a product you don't like (Bing), because others are available.
      Jumpin Jack Flash
  • You do see the humor here, don't you?

    Apple, the folks that hate Android and see it as a total ripoff of iOS, are defaulting the search engine to the maker of Android.
    boomchuck1