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from the L.A. Times

FTC investigating Twitter's relationships with UberMedia, third-party app makers


The Federal Trade Commission is reviewing Twitter's dealings with third-party app makers such as UberMedia Inc., a Pasadena company that makes its apps that allow people to send and read updates on the microblogging service.

The FTC has requested information from UberMedia, run by serial entrepreneur Bill Gross, and the maker of the popular UberSocial, Twidroyd and Echofon apps is cooperating, a company spokeswoman said.

"We have been contacted by the FTC and we intend to fully comply with their request for information," the UberMedia representative said.

The news of the FTC investigation was first reported by Business Insider.

Officials from Twitter and the FTC declined to comment on the investigation.

The federal review underscores the tensions between Twitter and some of the companies that make applications for users of the service.

Over the past year, as it looks to make money from advertising on the site, Twitter has been rolling out its own official applications, making it more difficult for other applications to compete.

Twitter has also bought some of the more popular applications such as TweetDeck -- which it took over at a rumored price of $40 million to $50 million. UberMedia, which has snapped up other applications that help users interact with Twitter, had also tried to purchase TweetDeck.

In February, UberMedia said Twitter shut off its tweets for violating some of Twitter's terms of service, but the impasse didn't last long, and the Pasadena company said it worked with Twitter to resolve the problems and get its apps connected to the service again.


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Twitter temporarily suspends Twidroyd, UberTwitter and UberCurrent for violating app policies

-- Jessica Guynn and Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Image: A screenshot of the Echofon Twitter app on an Apple iPad. Credit: UberMedia/Twitter/Apple

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Andrea Chang
Armand Emamdjomeh
Jessica Guynn
Jon Healey
W.J. Hennigan
Tiffany Hsu
Deborah Netburn
Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Alex Pham
David Sarno