FTC probing tech companies over Google's practices
| by Rossi Fernandes |
Google has built an image of being a clean company that has its products used by millions. However, there are some grey areas that are being probed by the Federal Trade Commission, popularly referred to as the FTC, according to reports. The issue is with the Google search service - there are complaints that Google may be offering more priority to certain brands in the search results, while pushing down others in the order. The FTC has asked Apple to share information on how they use Google search on the iPad. FTC has asked for documents that include the initial agreement between Apple and Google that states that Google Search will be the preferred search service on Apple’s devices.
It appears competing companies, such as Microsoft don’t like this and such agreements are anti-competitive. The study of these documents are to see if Google is indeed guilty of using its position as the Internet search leader to manipulate results for revenues. Allen Grunes, a lawyer at Browstein Hyatt Farber Schreck has said that in this age of mobile devices, the importance of the default search engine on devices becomes even more important. It’s not just Apple, the FTC has also approached other companies, which include wireless service providers and mobile handset manufacturers.
According to the Bloomberg report, Google is said to make some $1.3 billion in revenues in 2011. Google, reportedly paid Apple roughly $1 billion to be the default search engine on their devices. Some 95 percent of all the money put into mobile advertisements is earned by Google, it’s said. Microsoft is also said to have tried to take away the default search tool for Apple devices in the past. Google currently leads the search engine market share with approximately 66.4 percent of the market. Apple, on the other hand is a clear leader when it comes to tablets and their line of iPhones have seen great success as well. Apple sold roughly 183 million iPhones and more than 55 million iPads in 2011 it’s estimated.
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