The US Federal Trade Commission has subpoenaed Apple as part of an antitrust probe of Google, in order to determine how search is incorporated into iOS devices. The request for information specifically asks for details about agreements that made Google the default search engine on Apple’s mobile devices.
A report by Bloomberg suggests that the subpoena indicates that the FTC is ” intensifying its scrutiny of Google’s business practices”. Details set to emerge from the investigation will shed light on whether Google is abusing its dominance to boost revenue from mobile phone advertising.
Google’s been the default search engine on iOS since Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007 — a factor in Google being able to earn earn $US1.3 billion in search-related revenue on Apple’s iOS products last year alone. According to a March 8th report from Macquarie Capital, Google paid Apple $US1 billion to be the default search engine. This could get interesting. [Bloomberg]