Print 21 comment(s) - last by Tony Swash.. on Mar 15 at 2:56 PM

The FTC has subpoenaed Apple looking for documents that contain agreements between Apple and Google regarding Apple's mobile devices using Google services

Apple was recently subpoenaed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for information on its use of the Google search engine as the default on iPhones and iPads.

Apple and Google have a bit of a strange relationship. The two shared board members over the last decade, including Eric Schmidt. They were connected this way for a period of time until Google developed the Android mobile operating system to compete with the iPhone.

The FTC began investigating the sharing of board members in 2009 and whether it violated antitrust laws, and Schmidt ended up leaving the board that same year. From there, rivalry between the two has heightened due to Apple launching lawsuits against phone makers like Samsung, HTC and Motorola, who run Android on their phones.

Just last year, the FTC started investigating Google in an effort to find whether the company increases advertising rates for competitors unfairly and ranks search results to benefit its own businesses. Now, the FTC is pulling Apple into the equation regarding its default settings, which includes the Google search engine.

Apple has had Google as the default search setting since the iPhone launched in 2007 and since the iPad originally released in 2010. Google Maps is also used on both of these devices over any other map service.

The FTC is also curious as to whether Google is purposely stifling competition by partnering with Apple to keep Android and iOS in the top ranks of the mobile realm.

The FTC has subpoenaed Apple looking for documents that contain agreements between Apple and Google regarding Apple's mobile devices using Google services. It hopes to uncover details regarding their relationship and whether Google is using Apple's devices to crush competition unfairly.

"As mobile search gets more widespread, the default setting becomes more significant," said Allen Grunes, an antitrust lawyer at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP.

According to comScore, an Internet market research firm, Google took the top spot in Internet search in February 2012 with 66.4 percent of the market. By the end of last year, Apple had sold 183 million iPhones and 55 million iPads. The two coming together could surely take over the market, as they already have to an extent.

Source: Bloomberg

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Not quite accurate
By niva on 3/14/2012 6:09:46 PM , Rating: 2
A couple of years tops? Get off the pipe, Android is here to stay for sure. It's Apple's long term strategy and existence which is in question. They have tons of money now, but what happens 10 or 15 years down the road? Maybe they should enter the search business, Google certainly doesn't seem to mind any of it's competitors in that arena.

RE: Not quite accurate
By retrospooty on 3/14/2012 6:06:37 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly... In the same way Apple copied Palm and surpassed them with IOS, Android4 has now surpassed IOS.

Once the market is full of Android 4 devices it will only get bigger.

RE: Not quite accurate
By seamonkey79 on 3/14/2012 7:10:46 PM , Rating: 2
Apple has a history of this anyway... be really popular for awhile because you're ahead of the curve, keep things expensive while cheaper just as effective/better alternatives come about, go into denial mode overdrive for a decade, and try again.

RE: Not quite accurate
By elmikethemike on 3/14/12, Rating: -1
RE: Not quite accurate
By gladiatorua on 3/14/2012 9:39:01 PM , Rating: 2
Wh.. What? iPhone4S was only successful because of marketing. What was so new and compelling? Apple copied couple of features from Android and... oh yeah! They pulled Siri from Appstore cutting off all the users and exclusively integrated it into 4S. Every new feature of iOS is overhyped and presented as revolutionary. Nice strategy.
In case of Android every truly new generation of phones brings speedbump and new substantial features. Every major Android OS version brings new features. They just weren't as overhyped.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

Most Popular ArticlesSmartphone Screen Protectors – What To Look For
September 21, 2016, 9:33 AM
UN Meeting to Tackle Antimicrobial Resistance
September 21, 2016, 9:52 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM
5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Update: Problem-Free Galaxy Note7s CPSC Approved
September 22, 2016, 5:30 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki