Print 33 comment(s) - last by Tony Swash.. on Aug 12 at 3:40 AM

Google stands accused of using its Android smart phone market giant to crush the competition.  (Source: AP Photo)
Is Google abusing its dominant position to proselytize its services?

The world's most popular smartphone operating system, Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android OS, can't seem to catch a break these days.  If its not being attacked in court [1][2][3][4][5by rival smartphone maker Apple, Inc. (AAPL) whose looking to forcibly remove its products from market [1][2] with lawsuits, it's being probed by antitrust investigators.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday issued long awaited subpoenas.  For those of you who aren't lawyers and haven't been dragged through a major court case, a "subpoena" is a government demand for testimony or evidence.  Failure to give the requested information can result in criminal and/or civil penalties.

The fact that the U.S. government has issued subpoenas shows that it's getting serious about its investigation of Google.  A Google spokeswoman seemed nonchalant, commenting, "We understand that with success comes scrutiny. We're happy to answer any questions they have about our business."

But for all the cheer, the move is a major concern for Google.

Several small smartphone service providers have claimed that Google applied pressure to its hardware partners to boot their products off their smartphones, in favor of Google's rival services.  In and of itself, that might not be illegal were, Google not by far the industry's most dominant player in sales.  Android is reportedly outselling the next closest company, Apple, 5-to-2 in recent figures.  Thus if Google is found guilty of the allegations, it could face stiff penalties for violating antitrust laws.

Other allegations against Google include reports that it stole data from other services, such as reviews site Yelp and used it to bolster its own offerings.  And Google also stands of artificially boosting its services above competitors' in the results from its search engine -- the most used search engine on the planet.

The issue of the subpoenas was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.  Even if Google can beat the antitrust rap in the U.S. it faces similar accusations in Europe, a place known for its strict antitrust laws [1][2].  

Google has set aside $500M USD in cash to cover possible antitrust penalties.  The question is whether that will be close to enough.

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RE: Where is Google going?
By Tony Swash on 8/11/2011 10:39:28 AM , Rating: -1
So, in summary, FUD

So presumably Google's various initiatives and strategic direction make perfect sense to you. Do share - as I am mystified.

Why do you think Google did Android - honest question. Maybe you can see a logic I am missing.

RE: Where is Google going?
By 2ManyOptions on 8/11/2011 11:19:50 AM , Rating: 2
Google everywhere. Possibly that's their goal.
You are missing Microsoft here, apart from Apple, this will be a direct assault on Windows phone OS and so far they are successful and way ahead of them - this would also gives them ability to integrate Google search wherever needed in the mobile space, something Microsoft could do with Bing thus taking/defending that piece of market share.

RE: Where is Google going?
By Xcpus on 8/11/2011 8:07:41 PM , Rating: 2
No offense Tony but nearly all your posts lack logic. I mean what else would one expect from a fanboi. There is no logic when one holds an irrational attachment to one particular Corporate image.

You spin anything in Apple's favor just like a Bill O'Reilly segment.

I care not for Google, Apple, Microsoft etc. I just care about competition leading to better prices for consumers. I care about the average citizen getting a better deal through stiff but rational/reasonable degrees of competition.

I think that IP needs to be re-written and a balance found. I think that if a company does not physically bring an idea to life then its patent ought to be ignored. And even if a company brings an idea to life that idea must be truly creative and original and we can find methods to quantify this based on "precedence". Is it a revolutionary product or a logical evolutionary extension of other existing ideas?

Anyway... your posts are rarely informative and rarely offer any sort of insight. I just hope you know that to anyone NOT an Apple fanboi you sound irrational. Whether it is a Google/Microsoft Fan or a Neutral person such as myself.

Maybe seek counseling or something.

RE: Where is Google going?
By Tony Swash on 8/12/2011 3:40:46 AM , Rating: 2
My post isn't about Apple it's about Google, about which I guess you have nothing to say.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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