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Google's antitrust woes intensify as California opens new investigation

Google has been no stranger to antitrust cases in recent years with the European Commission going after it several times, but there's now mounting pressure in its own country, too. The United States Department of Justice could be about to open legal proceedings against Google, along with numerous state attorneys across the nation and the House Judiciary Committee. Google's home state of California had been reluctant to join but has reportedly opened its own investigation in recent days.

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[Update: House committee investigating] Department of Justice reportedly may lead Google antitrust probe

The Department of Justice is preparing to conduct a wide-ranging antitrust investigation into Google's business practices, multiple sources have said to news agencies. The scope of the sweep looks to include the company's primary search and online advertising operations. The speculation comes in the wake of a series of penalties and further awaiting trials in other parts of the world on Google's anti-competitive behavior.

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Google reportedly under investigation by India authorities over antitrust complaints

As Google grows, it has increasingly become a target for antitrust lawsuits. The company was ordered to let users choose their preferred search engine in Russia, and European Union citizens are asked to select their favorite browser as a result of fines. According to a report from Reuters, India has now ordered an investigation into antitrust complaints similar to those raised in Europe.

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Huawei reportedly working on its own phone OS, just in case this 'Android' fad doesn't pan out

We're the Android Police, but even explicitly non-Android news is sometimes relevant, as in the case of the recent rumors surrounding Huawei. According to the South China Morning Post, Huawei might be working on its own OS. These plans were allegedly initiated in response to investigations by the US against the company in 2012 as a "worst-case scenario" plan for the future. 

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AT&T and Verizon are under investigation for colluding to let eSIM phones remain locked to their networks

The US Department of Justice is investigating AT&T and Verizon for allegedly colluding with the GSMA to influence eSIM standards so as not to threaten their dominance over the US consumer market. The investigation was opened five months ago after Apple and an unnamed wireless carrier complained to the DOJ, according to Reuters.

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Qualcomm's purchase of NXP is under investigation in the EU

The European Commission has opened an investigation into the proposed purchase of NXP Semiconductors by Qualcomm. The EC's examination of the acquisition is being launched under concerns that the purchase may result in a decrease in market competition for the automotive semiconductor space. NXP is a big provider for that market, particularly when it comes to NFC and "secure element" cryptographic devices. In cars, these features are used in things like key fobs.

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Find the owner of a lost cell phone in A Normal Lost Phone

Games featuring phones are all the rage right now, huh? After Strange Telephone earlier today, we came across A Normal Lost Phone, from Accidental Queens. The game features a character who finds, unsurprisingly, a lost cell phone, and then attempts to return the device by looking through text messages and other items to identify the owner.

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Vague FTC Anti-Trust Probe Targets Android, Probably Because The FTC Has No Idea How Android Works

In the beginning, there was Android. Android was an open-source, largely hardware-agnostic operating system designed to work on a variety of devices and form-factors, and then Google bought the company that made it (also called Android, founded by Andy Rubin). Then, there was Google's Android. Google's Android was still open source, but now it came with stuff you'd actually want to use. Like an app store. And Google Maps. And Gmail. And Google Search. And did I mention Android itself was and is still open source? Because it was and is, and will continue to be likely for many, many, many years into the future.

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Verizon Settles With The FCC On A $7.4 Million Fine For Marketing That Violated Customer Privacy

Update, 9-4-13: a Verizon Wireless spokesman reached out to say that the wireless provider hasn't been fined by the FCC, and that the landline services provider (providers of home Internet and cable services) is the one being fined. Verizon and Verizon Wireless are technically separate companies. The headline and story text have been altered to reflect this.

There are a lot of good reasons not to like Verizon. But the Federal Communications Commission has taken particular exception to at least one of Verizon's practices from way back in 2006. In a post on the Commission's website, a press release details how the FCC Enforcement Bureau investigated an incident in which Verizon may have used some customer's personal information to market extra services to them, without informing said customers of their right to opt out of the data collection.

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Italy Investigates Google, Apple, Amazon, and Gameloft For Misleading 'Free To Play' Games

You can't talk about mobile gaming without mentioning the elephant in the room: the free-to-play model. The bane of many a purist gamer and unwitting parent, an over-reliance on free downloads and hooks for in-app purchases has made mobile gaming a minefield of games based on upsell and addiction. Italy's had enough, and its antitrust authority is investigating app store owners Google, Apple, and Amazon, and game publisher Gameloft, for unfair commercial practices.


According to a Reuters report, the authority is trying to determine whether advertising games as free when they require purchases to continue constitutes an unfair practice.

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