NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. antitrust regulators are looking into Google (GOOGL) - Get Report over concerns that the company's practices involving the Android operating platform are limiting competition, Bloomberg reports.
The Justice Department agreed to allow the Federal Trade Commission to lead an investigation into the Android business that allegedly prioritizes Google services and applications, while putting restrictions onto others, sources told Bloomberg.
Google could be implicated for antitrust violations if it dominates the market and does not offer any alternatives, New York University law professor Harry First told Bloomberg.
"The question for Android is do they really have sufficient market power, particularly in a world where there are other mobile-phone operating systems?" First added.
The European Union is also investigating the Android business after complaints from various parties, including representatives from Microsoft (MSFT), Expedia (EXPE) and Nokia (NOK).
About 59% of U.S. smartphones run on Android operating systems, while 38% operate on Apple's (AAPL) iOS, according to International Data Corp., Bloomberg noted.
Google stock is up 0.21% to $656.30 in pre-market trading on Friday.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates GOOGLE INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
We rate GOOGLE INC (GOOGL) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, increase in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- GOOGL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 6.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.1%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
- Although GOOGL's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.05 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 4.60, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
- The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly outperformed against the S&P 500 and exceeded that of the Internet Software & Services industry average. The net income increased by 17.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $3,351.00 million to $3,931.00 million.
- Net operating cash flow has increased to $6,985.00 million or 24.13% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, GOOGLE INC has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 19.52%.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: GOOGL