Google's position as the default search engine on Apple's mobile devices is drawing scrutiny from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Apple has been subpoenaed for information on its deals with Google to make it the preferred search engine on iPhones and iPads, according to Bloomberg.
The FTC has asked Apple for documents that will reveal the nature of the agreements between the two companies, as it investigates whether Google is abusing its dominance in the mobile search space, two people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. This is part of the larger FTC investigation of Google's practices.
Google became the default search engine on iPhones in 2007 and iPads since 2010 – it was reported that Apple receives $1 billion per year from Google for making Google the default search engine in iOS devices and on Safari on desktop devices. Google Maps is the default mapping application, though Apple may be beginning to shift away a bit from Google, recently ditching Google Maps for OpenStreetMap.
Both Apple and Google declined to comment.
Several of Google's key rivals, including Microsoft, have filed complaints with both U.S. and European regulators, citing their concerns with Google's market dominance, with the European Commission launching its own investigation into the firm last year.
Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt also appeared before members of the U.S. Senate to answer questions relating to the firm's market dominance. At that time, he was forced to strongly deny suggestions the firm may have been "cooking the books" to improve the search rankings of its own services over those of rivals.