The Federal Trade Commission is said to be opening an investigation on whether Apple has been using its position as the mobile application market to harm its competitors – including those in the mobile-advertising market, where Apple is set to open its own mobile ad provider iAd in July – according to several publications.
Both the US Justice Department and FTC were under discussions whether which agency would conduct the investigation, before deciding it should be the FTC.
The decision that the FTC should investigate could be because of the recent experience of investigating the mobile ad market as it took several months to investigate the Google/AdMob deal before allowing the merger to go through.
Bloomberg, quoting people familiar with the matter, reports that the regulators have decided earlier in the week that it will proceed with the investigation after revelations that Apple has changed its developers terms that would bar Google and other rivals to provide ads, saying that “an advertising service provider owned by or affiliated with a developer or distributor of mobile devices, mobile operating systems or development environments other than Apple” would not be deemed as acceptable.
This only adds to the regulatory investigations on Apple. The Cupertino-based company is been rumoured to be under investigation by the Justice Department about its practises in the music business via iTunes – which it owns about 70 percent of all digital sales in the US alone – and is part of an investigation in whether Apple and other tech companies signed a pact not to steal each other employees.
Both the FTC and Apple have remained silent about the investigation.