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FTC Probes Android and Google Search 139

Posted by Soulskill
from the you'll-never-catch-him,-he's-the-gingerbread-man dept.
bonch writes "The FTC is investigating claims that Google prevented Android smartphone vendors from using competing services (covered previously), whether Google preferentially places its own services above others on the search results page, and whether Google scraped content from competitors for use in its own services. FTC lawyers are also asking how Android may be helping Google maintain its massive web search lead. Google denies all allegations and blames jealous rivals for the growing number of probes. The European Commission's own antitrust probe is ongoing."
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FTC Probes Android and Google Search

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  • Re:Finally (Score:3, Informative)

    by Gilandune (1266114) on Friday August 12, 2011 @01:09PM (#37070248) Homepage

    Speaking from personal experience, my Galaxy S had Yahoo! as the default search bundled in the stock ROM from my provider...hell...it didnt even have all of the usual google applications. I dont see either Samsung or Telcel suffering or being locked out in any way from any google things...hell, there are even updates for the phones being rolled out right now...

  • Re:Finally (Score:5, Informative)

    by canajin56 (660655) on Friday August 12, 2011 @01:27PM (#37070468)
    No, here's what happened, since you are unable to RTFA: Skyhook offered a vendor a discount if they would modify the phone to block non-Skyhook location services from functioning. This means that Google maps doesn't work, this means that any map or navigation software you buy on the market will crash. Google doesn't want handsets that can't run software from the market, because then they have an avalanche of complaints and returns. So their policy is that you are free to fuck with the API and break your phone as much as you want, but if it's broken they don't allow you to use the Android Market from it. See, Android and Google Apps are NOT bundled after all, and although you can always use Android if you follow the license, you are not guaranteed to be able to use Google Apps, especially the market. One rule they will not relax is "If your phone will not run some Market apps, you cannot use the Market at all". Because people already send them enough death threats about "fragmenting the market" without shitty vendors intentionally making their phone crash on certain apps to prevent competition. That's right, you are on the side of anti-competitive bullshit, not opposing it. Google is the one opposing Skyhook making a condition that says "your phone must block competing software from running". You can add new shit to the API (as long as you know that any apps you write using your new calls won't be allowed on the market since they only work on your phone) but you CANNOT remove functions from the API and still be allowed on the market. Anyways, he's a really fast test to demonstrate that the crybabies are lying: My Samsung Galaxy S has Skyhook on it. Google never blocked it. It works fine. But what Samsung didn't do is get the Skyhook discount by disabling Google Maps and Google Maps Navigation.
  • Re:Finally (Score:4, Informative)

    by oakgrove (845019) on Friday August 12, 2011 @02:12PM (#37071268)

    the 'lock' is probably going to be reduces support if you replace the google pieces with Bing. That would make sense for something like the maps/locations the API might be Google Maps specific and zero effort is made to allow third party replacements of these services.

    Pure and utter bullshit. I develop for Android. There is a generic intent that any map displaying on Android can listen for.

    String uri = "geo:"+ latitude + "," + longitude;
    startActivity(new Intent(android.content.Intent.ACTION_VIEW, Uri.parse(uri)));

    In what way is this locking anyone out?

  • by BOUND4DOOM (987004) on Friday August 12, 2011 @03:04PM (#37072234)
    When I went to get my droid device and switch from Windows Mobile way back when. I was on AT&T, I would have stayed with them as well except they had 2 Droid devices at the time and they had not only changed but locked in Yahoo as the only search engine. You couldn't change it. So I switched to Verizon. Anyway the Android operating system not only can have the search changed by the manufacturer, but also by the provider. So not sure why there even would be an investigation in the matter.

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