Report: Antitrust inquiry to focus on iPhone ad ban

The Federal Trade Commission will open an investigation to determine if Apple Inc.’s mobile software business practices are squashing competitors, according to a report published Friday.

The Wall Street Journal said the FTC will start an investigation, citing people familiar with the situation.

The newspaper said 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, as will a new iPhone.

Apple rival Google Inc. 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.

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

 Drug executives briefed on fake recall, e-mails say

Johnson & Johnson executives were briefed on an outside contractor’s plan to buy up defective painkillers instead of issuing a recall, documents obtained by The Associated Press on Friday indicate.

E-mails sent to J&J last spring by contractor Inmar show J&J was informed that the plan to purchase thousands of packets of Motrin could “draw scrutiny,” in the words of one Inmar executive.

Congressional investigators have been probing J&J’s handling of problems with its Motrin tablets that emerged last year.

 Google says it never used data collected in mapping

Google Inc. is telling lawmakers that it never dissected or used any of the information that it accidentally sucked up while collecting data about public Wi-Fi networks in more than 30 countries.

In a letter to three key House Commerce Committee members, Google apologized for collecting fragments of e-mails, search requests and other online activities over unencrypted Wi-Fi networks.

The company got the information while photographing neighborhoods for its “Street View” mapping feature.

Genetic test makers told to obtain federal approval

The Food and Drug Administration has put five genetic test makers on notice that they must get federal approval before marketing their products for use by consumers.

The regulatory letters posted online Friday are the first sign that the agency plans to crack down on companies marketing products that claim to predict inheritable diseases using DNA samples.

The FDA letters notify each company that their products are considered medical devices and therefore must be federally approved as safe and effective.

The letters posted online deal with specific technologies from: 23andMe Inc., deCODE Genetics, Illumina, Navigenics and Knome Inc.

Company enters pan-India broadband wireless market

Reliance Industries will pay $1 billion for a 95 percent stake in Infotel Broadband, the only company to win pan-India broadband wireless spectrum in a government auction Friday.

The announcement from India’s most valuable company came hours after the government closed the 16-day bidding process, which the Press Trust of India said yielded $8.2 billion in spectrum fees.

Add that haul to the $14.6 billion India raked in from third-generation spectrum auctions in May, and the central government could shave a chunk off its projected $85.5 billion fiscal deficit.