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FTC investigating Twitter over excess control of mobile apps

updated 03:45 pm EDT, Thu June 30, 2011

FTC talks to Twitter over possible abuse in apps

Developers confirmed reports that the FTC was investigating Twitter's policies towards app developers. The exact claims are unknown but are expected by SAI to revolve around its temporarily blocking UberMedia's apps and moves that have prevented rival ad services or have steered users away from visiting third-party hosting sites. Concerns might also exist over Twitter's attempt to discourage the creation of apps that are similar to the official titles and its tendency to buy out competition like Atebits' Tweetie or TweetDeck.

Rumors have swirled that Twitter may have been upset at UberMedia's hints of a rival ad system and possibly a rival microblogging service altogether. The app creator was at one point purportedly on the verge of buying TweetDeck but received a last-minute counteroffer from Twitter itself that many have interpreted as a move to prevent a competitor on its own service from getting the upper hand.

UberSocial would only say it had been contacted by the FTC for information.

Twitter has remained silent on direct questions, but leaks have hinted that there would be a site coming in the future to give "as much information as possible" to partners. The page is believed to be a sign Twitter wants to head off FTC inquiries by being more public about its practices and possibly extending an olive branch to developers that might be hesitant to support a company they think might betray them without notice.

by MacNN Staff



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