Report: Federal Trade Commission to investigate fairness of Apple’s mobile software practices

Friday, June 11, 2010

Report: FTC to investigate Apple mobile practices

SAN FRANCISCO — The Federal Trade Commission will open an investigation to determine if Apple Inc.’s mobile software business practices are squashing competitors, according to a report published Friday.

The Wall Street Journal said the FTC will start an investigation, citing people familiar with the situation. The newspaper said that the FTC has been working with the Justice Department for weeks to decide which agency will review allegations from companies complaining of being barred from the mobile platform that runs its iPhone and iPad devices.

Apple’s newest version of its mobile operating system, iOS4, will be released later this month. A new iPhone will also be released this month.

Apple rival Google Inc. is among the companies that are increasingly agitated with the iPhone maker, as new restrictions that are part of iOS4 may hamper Google’s ability to sell and place ads on devices that run the software.

On Wednesday, Omar Hamoui, the head of Google’s newly acquired mobile ad service, AdMob, attacked the restrictions as a threat to competition.

Prior to The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News reported on the probe.

Apple spokesman Steve Dowling declined to comment. A spokesman at the FTC could not be reached for comment.

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