Google seems to be under the microscope just about everywhere overseas and now it seems the eye in the United States is watching too. A new report coming out of Bloomberg says the United States is launching an Antitrust investigation against Google and their use of Android. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Justice Department are said to be investigating the company to see if the complaint of Google prioritizing its services on Android over others is indeed true. Google is already battling similar accusations in the EU with some rulings already laid out against the search giant.
The practice of bundling products and services together may violate antitrust laws if a company dominates the market for a product that customers need, and then forces them to buy a complementary product or service, said Harry First, a law professor at New York University. If consumers can go to other manufacturers to avoid the bundled product, there’s likely no antitrust violation, First said.
“The question for Android is do they really have sufficient market power, particularly in a world where there are other mobile-phone operating systems?” he said.
Android, as an operating system, is the dominant market share holder with iOS coming in second. Some experts believe this latest FTC investigation may amount to nothing but that could depend on the outcome of the ongoing EU investigations and how much lobbyists for other platforms push the FTC. It should be interesting nonetheless to see what actually happens from this, either way it shines the light on Google’s business practices.
What do you think of the FTC’s investigation? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.Source: Bloomberg
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