bw100 - 9:57 pm on Aug 10, 2011 (gmt 0)
FTC Focuses Probe on Android, Web Search
Federal Trade Commission officials are focusing their antitrust investigation on several key areas of Google Inc.'s business, including its Android mobile phone software and Web search related services, people familiar with the probe say.
Six weeks after serving Google with broad subpoenas, FTC lawyers, in conjunction with several state attorneys general, have been asking whether Google prevents smartphone manufacturers that use its Android operating system from using competitors' services, these people said.
They also have inquired whether Google grants preferential placement on its website to its own products, such as Google's "Places" business listings, its "Shopping results" or Google Finance services above most other results.
And they're looking into allegations that Google unfairly takes information collected by rivals, such as reviews of local businesses, to use on its own specialized site and then demotes the rivals' services in its search results, the people said.