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Google’s Android Under FTC Antitrust Investigations

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In less than three years, it is the second time Google is coming under investigation from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over matters of antitrust.

According to Bloomberg, the inquiry is expected to look into the matter that the Android OS is violating laws by giving its products and services more privileges as opposed to what the competitors get. When asked about these matters, both parties, FTC and Google, refused to comment with the latter claiming that it does not issue comments on matters that are still under investigation.

Google is a target for several complaints in the recent past

It is not the first time such a complaint is coming out with respect to the services of this search engine giant, especially the ones related to advertising. Earlier this year, Disconnect, a European organization raised complaints that Google had removed its app from the Play Store since the app isolated the search functions from Google trackers.

There are also other concerns coming with respect to the YouTube Kids app, where the companies complaining claim that the service exposes kids to targeted ads in an unfair way. As a result, Google has found itself in the investigation jaws of the EU as well, and now that the FTC is on the company’s heels, Google may just need to make some drastic changes to the way it does things.

Microsoft has faced FTC investigations before in a 1993 case where it was accused of misusing its market share via bundling of products. Even though the investigation closed, the Department of Justice sued the tech giant for the same issues later on in 1998. To be specific, this time the matter was about the unfair promotion of IE over Netscape Navigator.

As recent as 2013, the FTC voted 5-0 so as to stop the investigation into Microsoft’s illegal actions, with the lack of evidence being cited as the main reason of ceasing the investigations. However, there was still a condition that had to be met, not by Microsoft, but by its closest competitor, Google. The search giant was mandated to change its business practices, among them the restriction of access to ad platforms in competition with its own.