FTC looking at Android in Google probe

FTC looking at Android in Google probe

The Federal Trade Commission will be taking a hard look at how Google controls Android in its antitrust investigation, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal.

The governmental agency is looking at Google’s search practices too but what interests us is that the FTC is going to find out whether the search giant is disallowing handset makers and carriers to use competing services with the Android platform. Remember, the Android platform has grown from 0 percent of the market to more than 40 percent in just a few short years, so its importance is evident.

One might look at devices like the Samsung Fascinate and the LG Revolution on Verizon and see that these use Bing as the default search engine to dismiss this probe but it may not be as simple as that. Skyhook is still claiming that Google used its influence over Android in an anti-competitive way to make handset makers adopt Google’s location services.

Even if Android does climb to 50 percent or more, that still doesn’t represent a monopoly in the field. It’s not illegal to have a monopoly either but it could be illegal if Google were using its quasi-monopoly in search and advertising in relation to Android.

One thing is clear: Google will be racking up a lot of legal bills over the next few years with Android. The company is facing a massive lawsuit from Oracle over Java patents and it says that other Android users are being attacked in the courts. I guess that’s the price of success.

[Via The Wall Street Journal]

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