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Apple Subpoenaed for Details on iOS Search Deal in Google Antitrust Investigation

Bloomberg reports that antitrust investigators with the Federal Trade Commission have issued a subpoena to Apple requesting information on the company's deal to make Google the default search engine on iOS. Google has been reported to have paid Apple $1 billion last year in the iOS search deal, and the subpoena is part of an ongoing antitrust investigation of Google over its actions to lock up search engine traffic.
The agency’s request for documents includes the agreements that made Google the preferred search engine on Apple’s mobile devices, said the people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly and declined to be identified. Google rivals such as Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) have criticized these agreements as anticompetitive.

The subpoena indicates the FTC is intensifying its scrutiny of Google’s business practices. Details of the Apple-Google relationship may show whether Google is abusing its dominance of Internet search to boost revenue in the mobile phone advertising market, said Allen Grunes, an antitrust lawyer at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP in Washington.
The investigation is also looking more broadly at how Google's advertising rates and search results may be being manipulated to give Google an unfair advantage in the marketplace.

With Android and iOS now together holding the vast majority of smartphone market share, Google's search engine possesses a dominating position in the rapidly-growing mobile search space. With mobile search expected to pass desktop search within the next few years, Google's dominance and its tie-ins to its own advertising services are garnering significant attention from regulators.

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31 months ago
Yeah, how about a legal.macrumors.com subdomain or at least a separate blog for the legal stuff?
Rating: 19 Votes
31 months ago
Endless legal matters are getting boring:mad:
Rating: 9 Votes
31 months ago

The subpoena indicates the FTC is intensifying its scrutiny of Google’s business practices.


It couldn't happen to a nicer company. :)
Rating: 8 Votes
31 months ago

Google is easy to use, but it's not the best search engine anymore. The algorithm worked for many years when the internet was "young." Someone needs to step up and come up with a new method. Now when I type in Rick Santorum, well you get the idea. It's flawed, it's vanilla, homogenous, easily tricked, and focused on 24 year old geeks results. Just like their demographic for Google+.


I'm not following. How could the results (for "Rick Santorum") be improved? Can you elaborate? While I think Google's array of "services" needs to be scrutinized, I am fairly confident in their search algorithms, but I'm open to being educated. :)
Rating: 7 Votes
31 months ago
...I have to google the background to that story real quick! :D

I have an alternative explanation for their dominance: Ease of use! Ever looked at the competition? Their start page is cluttered most of the time and you have it harder to destinguish between search results and advertisement. Regardless how much you like or hate Google, you got to admit, it is easy to see what is an add and where do the results show. The manipulation of results is another problem. There might be some undue manipulation going on. Dominance though - that is totally a result of the inability of the competition to keep it simple and to the point.

Just a little disclaimer: I did not just compare all search engines, but I've been around for a while and seen how Lycos, Ask.com, Yahoo, MSN, etc try to cause me eye cancer with a color bombardement as soon as I try to look something up.
Rating: 6 Votes
31 months ago
Google is easy to use, but it's not the best search engine anymore. The algorithm worked for many years when the internet was "young." Someone needs to step up and come up with a new method. Now when I type in Rick Santorum, well you get the idea. It's flawed, it's vanilla, homogenous, easily tricked, and focused on 24 year old geeks results. Just like their demographic for Google+.
Rating: 6 Votes
31 months ago

Yeah, how about a legal.macrumors.com subdomain or at least a separate blog for the legal stuff?

I'm beginning to agree that a Legal blog is also needed. I would expect that we would still see critical legal stuff on the front page much like some iOS stuff hits the front page.
Rating: 5 Votes
31 months ago
While Google may be paying for the privilege, the decision is in line with Apple's standards - go with the best. Google remains one of the top-performing search engines.

Just like my preference to use Safari over other browsers (although I use Chrome and Firefox daily, too), Google remains my search engine of choice simply because it works as I expect it to. It's interesting, I don't "trust" the results presented by other search engines nearly as much. A feeling that something's been missed or incorrectly ranked. I should probably force myself to use another engine for a while and see if I can break my reliance on Google.
Rating: 4 Votes
31 months ago
Google is the best search and e-mail service out there.

I use because it is the best of the best. Not because it is default in browsers.

First there was Digital Alta Vista, Then google took over. Thats it.
Rating: 4 Votes
31 months ago

I don't see why Apple should be fined for setting Google's search engine as their default. As long as the choice (uh-oh! theres that word again in apple-land) is there to switch to a different one, does it matter?


This is not the issue. The issue is whether Google gave kick-backs to Apple for using their search engine as the default.

Google is the one that would be in trouble, not Apple.

Remember back in the 90's when Microsoft got in legal trouble for using Internet Explorer as the default browser for Windows? Sort of the same issue here - just that Microsoft made both Windows AND Internet Explorer.
Rating: 4 Votes

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