Italy Probes Google, Apple, Amazon Over Free Apps

Google Inc.,  Apple Inc. and Inc. are being investigated by an Italian regulator to determine whether the Internet giants mislead people to make purchases in mobile phone apps that are initially free to download. The move by Italy's Antitrust and Competition Authority comes after the European Union earlier this year called on companies to reform their use of the "freemium" model in which apps are free to download, but then later require payments that often get charged to credit cards by default.