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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
Bad news for Verizon subscribers: Verizon isn't just raping you on your bill, they're really getting you up the pooper because they're making a few more dollars off of you by selling your personal data. Things like where you are, what you're doing on your phone, your gender, age, and personal details like whether you're a "sports enthusiast, frequent diner, or pet owner."
Meanwhile, the FTC is investigating Google for possibly "abusing its dominance of internet search in violation of antitrust laws" and - get this - "misusing patent protections to block rivals' smartphones from coming to market." What? Read More