The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has initiated a review of micro-blogging website Twitter, according to a source with knowledge of the issue, who said the anti-trust arm of the FTC has asked UberMedia for information.
UberMedia, a sometimes competitor of Twitter, is a company that provides applications that lets Twitter users send and read tweets. “We intend to fully comply with their request for information” said UberMedia’s chief marketing officer in a statement on Thursday.
The FTC review is expected to be “narrow” and will not have any effect on Twitter’s growing advertizing business. The FTC frequently investigates companies to determine whether it is involved in anti-competitive behavior but the investigations seldom result in any consequences for the company.
The micro-blogging website Twitter, which launched in March 2006, now boasts 200 million active users, but for much of its history it has mobile device and desktop applications to make it easy for access the service, instead of tweeting directly from the website. These third party applications were instrumental in helping Twitter grow its user base. But now, because Twitter is increasing the amount of advertizing on its website, it is trying to assert more control over its users, has created new services making the third party apps redundant, and acquired some of the companies making the third party apps, such as TweetDeck.