The Teflon Coated Google
January 17, 2013
For eighteen months, the Federal Trade Commission investigated Google to see if it was using its corner on the Internet search market to push its own products and services at the expense of its rivals. The Wall Street Journal reports in “Behind Google’s Antitrust Escape” that the FTC decided not to purse an antitrust suit, instead they opted for a series of smaller issues. Google agreed to make some changes in its search business. The FTC could not find any evidence that Google’s customers as well as its rivals were being harmed. All the FTC discovered were customers’ complaints about Google’s actions, which were not enough to make a case.
During the investigation, Google was setting itself up against the antitrust violation:
“Google also dispatched executive chairman Eric Schmidt and other employees to garner support from lawmakers, adding political pressure to the landscape. In November, for instance, staff members of U.S. Senator Mark Udall, a Democrat from Colorado, spoke with Google representatives. Afterward, Mr. Udall sent a letter to FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, encouraging the agency to proceed “cautiously” in its probes of Internet companies, which “have some of the highest consumer satisfaction rates in the country” and have created millions of jobs.”
Udall’s letter was only one of several letters that Congress members sent to the FTC. Many of these letters were leaked and Congress was concerned about information leaking. It was even suggested that the FTC leaked the info for strategic advantage. Whatever the truth is, Google got off with a slap on the hand and will continue on with its search dominance.
Whitney Grace, January 17, 2013
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Beyond Search