FTC to Visit Google…and It Isn’t Just to Chat

by Mike Wendy on June 23, 2011

And so it begins.  The Wall Street Journal reports today that Google is about to get a visit from the FTC, with the agency carrying civil subpoenas, reportedly indicating it’s about to start a “wide-ranging” investigation into whether the search giant used its behemoth status to illegally squelch competition.

As the WSJ notes, the FTC investigation…

…will examine fundamental issues relating to Google’s core search advertising business, which still accounts for the overwhelming majority of its revenues. Those will include whether Google—which accounts for around two-thirds of internet searches in the U.S. and more abroad—unfairly channels users to its own growing network of services at the expense of rivals’.

I can’t say that I’m shocked about this.  Still, I don’t think anyone in the tech industry wants more regulation.  Yet, if the FTC investigation bears fruit, then not only will Google get more rules to live by, but there will likely be a spill-over effect, too, to other players in the industry.

Oh, well.  The Internet was nice – and free – while it lasted.  Uncle Sam was bound to extract his pound of flesh at some point.  As the “public interest” lobbyists are wont to say – “The Internet is too important for companies to control.”  Of course, companies like Google didn’t help themselves (or us) any by funding those loud groups, as well as pushing for Internet regulations like Net Neutrality, among other pro-government takeover activities.

I guess this is just a case of the chickens coming home to roost.  Query – does the coop come equipped with an ethernet or a solid Wi-Fi connection?

More to come (sadly) …

PS – Curious.  At the time of this posting, I still haven’t seen one press release urging the strong use of antitrust law to protect consumers from the usual, “kick-the-evil-monopolies-in-any-way possible” crowd – like Public Knowledge, Free Press, CCIA, CDT, EFF, New America Foundation, OIC, etc.

What a game this is, huh?


txpatriot June 23, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Maybe there’s been no word from the “public interest” groups because Google is their biggest source of funding?

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