The U.S. Federal Trade Commission
intends to examine Apple’s business practices in the market for applications
which run on mobile devices, according to published reports late Friday.
Separately, the Wall Street Journal
is reporting that lawyers for the Justice Justice Department have contacted
companies in connection with Apple’s business practices in the music business.
Earlier this year, Apple set off a
controversy when it barred Adobe’s Flash video technology from Apple devices.
And this week, Google publicly complained about new developer rules mandated by
Apple, saying it may result in stopping competitors from selling ads inside
iPhone and iPad applications. Omar Hamoui, the executive in charge of Google’s
newly acquired mobile ad service, AdMob, said the new Apple restrictions
threatened competition and would cut into the ad revenue going to developers of
iPhone and iPad applications. Apple’s modified terms for those devices prevents
the sharing of critical information for distributing and analyzing ads with
makers of other mobile operating systems.
For AdMob, that’s a disaster
waiting to happen for two reasons. First, Google’s Android operating system
competes with the iPhone. Second, about one third of its ads were distributed
to iPhones, iPads and iPods in April.
Quoting an anonymous source,
Bloomberg said that the FTC and the U.S. Justice Department have been jockeying
to lead the investigation but that a decision to let the FTC take the lead was
only reached earlier this week.
Apple’s iAd network goes live on