Report: Google to Face U.S. Antitrust Probe Over Android

A number of tech companies earlier this year accused the search giant of anti-competitive practices.

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According to Bloomberg, a number of tech companies complained to the Department of Justice earlier this year, and the DOJ decided to let the FTC handle the investigation.  At issue is Google’s practice of requiring device manufacturers to pre-load certain Google apps on their phones if they want those devices to run the Android operating system. There is a stripped-down version of Android, known as the Android Open Source Project or AOSP, which does not require the bundling of Google apps. But if you do want Google apps, it’s an all or nothing deal. Either you pre-load your device with all of Google’s apps (like Maps, Google Play, YouTube, etc.) or none of them. There’s no mixing and matching, so you couldn’t pre-load Google Maps but Bing Search, for example.  The issue has reportedly been a point of contention between Google and Samsung, one of the biggest Android device manufacturers.  But does the practice run afoul of antitrust laws? That’s what the FTC is reportedly investigating. The FTC and DOJ declined to comment, while Google did not immediately respond to PCMag’s request for comment.

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