Twitter dealings with 3rd-party apps probed by FTC

Walled gardeners under the microscope

The Federal Trade Commission is investigating how Twitter deals with companies which make clients for people to access the service on smartphones and other devices.

Various companies make applications which depend on Twitter but the issue came to a head in February when Twitter blocked users of two clients – UberTwitter and Twidroyd – from using its service.

UberMedia, the company behind the two blocked apps, altered code, removed the word "twitter" from its name and got itself reinstated within a couple of days. Twitter also tweaked its API to strengthen its control over third-party clients. It also bought TweetDeck – one of the largest third-party clients.

It seems that US regulators are starting to take notice. The Federal Trade Commission has held meetings with developers to find out how relations with Twitter work, the FT reports.

As Twitter looks for a way to make money, its relationship with third-party developers will change.

But regulators seem more aware of the issues now; US and EU officials are looking at Apple's application approval process to see if the company is breaking monopoly or competition laws in its dealings with developers. ®

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