Google's Android facing US antitrust allegations

Android reportedly under investigation by FTC

Allegations that Google hindered rivals' access to its mobile-operating system have placed the company under the US Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) microscope.

As reported by Bloomberg, sources "familiar with the matter" told the FTC, who is leading the investigation into Android with agreement from the Justice Department, that Google has restricted other company's services on the platform while prioritizing its own.

Complaints from technology companies first surfaced in April this year, with the US Department of Justice urged to investigate alleged unfair use of the Android mobile platform by Google in relation to online advertising. Those behind the allegations reportedly included groups representing Microsoft, Expedia and Nokia.

Such scrutiny is nothing new for the search giant, with previous allegations fuelling antitrust investigations. Earlier this year, Google's executive chairman met with Europe's anti-trust chief to discuss a long-running investigation into the company's in-continent practices. The EU also extended the company's deadline to respond to claims that it favoured its own shopping service in June.

According to statistics from International Data Corp, Android accounted for 59 per cent of the US smartphone market in Q2 2015, leaving Apple's iPhone with just 38 per cent.

A separate FTC antitrust investigation into Google closed in 2013, concluding that search results had not been manipulated to hurt competitors. The decision made some parties sceptical that the investigative body was willing to build a case against one of the largest American companies.

It is unclear whether the inquiry, still in its early stages, will lead to a case against the company. Neither the FTC nor Google have released statements on the matter. 

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