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FTC widens its probe into Android's antitrust concerns

It's talking to companies to get an understanding of whether Google is abusing its mobile lead.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
April 28, 2016
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David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Google's Android regulatory headaches aren't clearing up. If anything, they're getting a bit worse. Wall Street Journal tipsters claim that the US Federal Trade Commission is expanding its probe into Android's possible antitrust violations. The regulator has been meeting with "at least" two companies to gather additional information about Google's potential abuse of its mobile lead to push its services. It's even hoping to get some of the European Union's evidence to help make its decision.

The insiders are quick to warn that the FTC hasn't reached any definitive answers. It's still entirely possible that the FTC will decide against any kind of formal complaint against Google. In part, that could stem from the nature of the American smartphone market. While Android tends to have a clear majority of the smartphone market in many European countries, it's not so lopsided in the US -- Android has just over half of the market, while Apple has nearly all the rest. Even if officials think that Google has too much leverage over its hardware partners, it might not think that Android is so dominant that those deals are hurting your choice of services.

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