updated 03:45 pm EDT, Tue March 13, 2012
FTC wants to know how iOS search favors Google
The FTC's widening antitrust investigation of Google is now collecting information from Apple, insiders tipped on mid-Tuesday. A pair of Bloomberg sources understood the US agency to be subpoenaing Apple for the deals making Google the default search engine on iOS devices. It's presumed, though not certain, that concerns may exist Google is unfairly using its search dominance to cut out Microsoft's Bing and others from getting the pre-selected position.
Phone designers and carriers have also been asked for information, one contact said.
Most of the focus on Google's influence in mobile mobile so far has focused on Android, where the FTC is believed concerned that Google might be using Android to unfairly affect search and other forms of content. Other areas of the investigation have focused on how Google prioritizes its own services in any kind of search as well as the effect of Google+ on social networking share.
Google is commonly known to have paid for the iOS deal. How much has remained unknown, with rumors floating values as high as $1 billion over a certain period. Questions have been raised over whether Apple would ever switch away even given its animosity over Android; its alternatives, Bing and Yahoo, are equally powered by Microsoft and would share their own competitive conflicts of interest.