The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will look further into whether Google abuses the dominance of Android, The Wall Street Journal reported, extending an enquiry it began last year.
Though it is too early to determine whether the FTC will take legal action, the watchdog has been meeting with companies to address industry concerns, and has asked at least two unnamed firms to provide data.
The FTC may also want to access the evidence used by the European Commission, which just last week said Google broke EU antitrust rules. It accused Google of “stifling competition and innovation” and said the search giant used Android to impose unfair restrictions on device manufacturers and operators.
The report claims the FTC may not reach the same verdict as the EU because Europe’s competition laws “give antitrust enforcers more power to take action against dominant companies” and because Android has greater market share in Europe than the US.
What’s more, US law may be lenient if the FTC found that Google had “legitimate business justifications” and its actions resulted in a better experience for users.
That may be why when back in 2013 the FTC investigated Google’s search activities, it decided not to take legal action.
Last month, the makers of 12 Android apps were sent a warning letter by the FTC because they included code which could enable third parties to monitor users’ TV viewing.