FTC Focuses on Android in Google Probe

WASHINGTON ( TheStreet) -- The Federal Trade Commission is focusing its antitrust investigation of Google ( GOOG) on the search giant's Android mobile-phone software and Web-search related services, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the probe.

Google said in late June it was the subject of an antitrust investigation by the FTC.Wednes

The Journal reported Thursday that FTC lawyers, in conjunction with several state attorneys general, have been asking whether Google prevents smartphone makers that use Android from using competitors' services.

The FTC also has inquired whether the company grants preferential placement on its Web site to its Google's "Places" business listings, and Google Finance services.

Investigators also are looking into allegations that Google unfairly takes information collected by rivals -- such as reviews of local businesses -- to use on its own specialized site and then demotes the rivals' services in its search results, the people told the Journal.

Google holds more than a two-thirds share of the Web search market.

The European Union launched an antitrust probe of Google last year.

Google has denied it engages in illegal competitive practices.

"We understand that with success comes scrutiny," a Google spokeswoman told the Journal. "We're happy to answer any questions they have about our business."

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Joseph Woelfel

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