Google Requires Oversight but Not a U.S. Antitrust Probe: View


Editor’s  Note:  This  article reinforces  CRE’s position that old fashioned trust busting analyses are not applicable to the FTC investigation of Google.


July 13 (Bloomberg) — When Google Inc. went public in 2004, its founders declared that the search-engine leader wasn’t a conventional company and didn’t intend to become one. This maverick attitude has defined Google ever since, especially in its hot-and-cold relations with the world’s governments.

Fair Search Coalition: Another “See Thru Coalition” ?

The Fair Search Coalition gives every indication that it is another “see thru coalition” dedicated to winning through the regulators what they can not win in the marketplace. . Our concern arises from the following statement on their website:

Based on growing concern that Google is abusing its search monopoly to thwart competition, we believe policymakers must act now to protect competition, transparency and innovation in online search.

Google, Facebook, Twitter and the FTC

Google, Facebook and Twitter have much in common.  All three firms are very popular web-based companies that have pioneered or reinvented their primary area of expertise.  All three businesses are American companies that have changed how the world uses the internet.  Of particular note, all three companies provide their primary services to consumers for free. 

Also of note, all three firms are either under FTC investigation (Google and Twitter) or are the subject of a petition to the FTC to be investigated (Facebook). 

The antitrust-related investigations of some of the country’s most innovative companies which provide consumers with unlimited free services raises questions about applying old-fashioned “trust-busting” models of antitrust enforcement to the internet.

The Applicability of the Data Quality Act to the FTC Google Inquiry

All material submitted to the FTC regarding its Google Inquiry must, by statute, meet the standards of the Data Quality Act.(DQA)  CRE will move in select instances to advise the FTC of non-DQA compliant submissions.  

 Nearly four years ago the American Antitrust Institute opposed the Google acquisition of DoubleCick. In its submission, attached below, to the FTC the AAI stated:


“The available evidence suggests that online advertising is sufficiently distinct that a monopolist in the sale of online advertising would be able to increase prices a small but significant amount without losing so many sales to offline sources to make the price increase unprofitable

Google Launches “Facts about Google and Competition” Website

Google has established a website to provide their views on the issue of competition.  The site offers quotes from leading analysis and links to data about Google’s economic benefits and other information.  At this time, the Google and Competition website does not mention the FTC inquiry.

Google’s competition website may be found at

New Executive Order Calls for Retrospective Review of FTC Regulations

President Obama signed an Executive Order which supplements his Executive Order on Regulatory Review (13563) by calling on independent agencies, including the FTC, to

consider how best to promote retrospective analysis of rules that may be outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome, and to modify, streamline, expand, or repeal them in accordance with what has been learned.  Such retrospective analyses, including supporting data and evaluations, should be released online whenever possible.

Avoiding A Litigation Time Capsule

Editor’s Note:  The following editorial from Bloomberg News warns against an FTC investigation of Google that resembles the expensive, long-running and pointless antitrust investigation of IBM.  The author does not explain, however, why there is a need for the FTC to watch Google at all.  It should be noted that the graphic above the editorial shows that Google ranks its competitors above itself when asked to display the results of a search for “search”.

From: Bloomberg