Google's Android division may be the target of an anti-trust investigation by the US government. A new report claims that the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department are looking into claims that Google has illegally kept competitors from offering services on Android in favor of its own.
Bloomberg, using unnamed sources, stated:
"FTC officials have met with technology company representatives who say Google gives priority to its own services on the Android platform, while restricting others, added the people, who asked for anonymity because the matter is confidential."
The probe is said to be in its early stages and the report does claim that it may end with no anti-trust case against Google. However, it does show that the company's practice of bundling apps and services such as Google Maps, YouTube and other apps into Android could be in question, with some people believing it keeps other companies from offering competing apps on the OS:
The practice of bundling products and services together may violate antitrust laws if a company dominates the market for a product that customers need, and then forces them to buy a complementary product or service, said Harry First, a law professor at New York University. If consumers can go to other manufacturers to avoid the bundled product, there's likely no antitrust violation, First said.