US probe into Apple's mobile software business

The Federal Trade Commission will open an investigation to determine whether Apple's mobile software business practices are squashing competitors, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

The newspaper said that the FTC has been working with the Justice Department for weeks to decide which agency will review allegations from companies complaining of being barred from the mobile platform that runs its iPhone and iPad devices.

Apple's newest version of its mobile operating system, iOS4, will be released later this month. A new iPhone will also be released this month.

Apple rival Google is among the companies that are increasingly agitated with the iPhone maker, as new restrictions that are part of iOS4 may hamper Google's ability to sell and place ads on devices that run the software.

Omar Hamoui, the head of Google's newly acquired mobile ad service, AdMob, attacked the restrictions last week as a threat to competition.

Apple spokesman Steve Dowling declined to comment. A spokesman at the FTC could not be reached for comment.


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