The Federal Trade Commission is reportedly looking into Google’s Android platform. Specifically, antitrust authorities are interested in how the search giant licenses its apps and services for use on Android smartphones and tablets.
Sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that the Federal Trade Commission came to an agreement with the Department of Justice to head up the investigation. The same sources claim multiple technology companies had complained to the Department of Justice regarding Google’s anti-competitive practices, resulting in the current probe.
Android as you know is an open source platform. Device makers are free to install it on their products as they see fit but if they want to include apps from Google like Maps, Google Play or YouTube, they are required to either install all of them or none at all. The fact that there’s no mixing and matching allowed is what several tech companies have taken issue with.
Earlier this month, Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service found Google guilty of abusing its market position by bundling apps with Android. In April, the European Commission opened an investigation into Google to determine whether the company has hindered the development and access of rival mobile apps by forcing OEMs into exclusively installing Google apps.
It’s unclear whether or not this practice violates any antitrust laws. The publication added that the inquiry is in a very early stage and could end without any action taken against Google.