According to Bloomberg, Apple has been subpoenaed by the Federal Trade Commission in order to provide information pertaining to the ongoing antitrust investigation of Google. Apple is being requested to deliver the details of how Google is integrated into iPads and iPhones as the default search engine. AllThingsD was able to confirm the news of the subpoena through sources familiar with the FTC’s probe of Google, noting that other manufacturers had been sent subpoenas as well.
The agency’s request for documents includes the agreements that made Google the preferred search engine on Apple’s mobile devices, said the people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly and declined to be identified.
The subpoena indicates the FTC is intensifying its scrutiny of Google’s business practices. Details of the Apple-Google relationship may show whether Google is abusing its dominance of Internet search to boost revenue in the mobile phone advertising market, said Allen Grunes, an antitrust lawyer at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP in Washington.
Apple and Google by no means have an easy-going relationship, and this latest chapter adds to their difficult coexistence. The two have been at constant odds in the smartphone market where, recently, Apple attempted to halt the endless legal battle by offering Motorola Mobility, a recent Google acquisition, and Samsung a settlement. Alternately, the two companies agreed to meet with Sen. Charles Schumer following news that apps on Android and iOS devices were allowing developers access to private photos stored on the phones.
So far, Apple has refrained from commenting on the subpoena. Additionally, a spokesperson with Google declined to offer any comment regarding the subpoena.