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Google Faces FTC ‘Antitrust’ Investigation

From the Financial Times:

Google under US antitrust pressure

By Richard Waters in San Francisco and Kara Scannell in New York

June 24, 2011

A handful of the biggest US states has started antitrust investigations into Google, adding to the mounting regulatory pressure on the search company as federal authorities move closer to a full-blown inquiry of their own.

Man, the Democrats are really ratcheting up their shakedown racket campaign fundraising machinery early this election cycle.

Attorneys-general in California, New York and Ohio have all recently begun reviews of the potential threat to online competition from Google’s search dominance, according to people familiar with the investigations

Which should serve as a warning to us all. Do not become too good at what you do.

The gathering regulatory clouds around Google in the US echo the mounting inquiries against Microsoft that began more than a decade ago.

The first investigation into the software company was also launched by Texas, before a group of other states and the Department of Justice became involved. Microsoft eventually reached a settlement with the administration of George W. Bush and a group of states after a judge had ordered that the company be broken up

Isn’t it funny how Microsoft did not go on to become the master of the universe, even though they were not broken up by the government? It’s almost as if companies wax and wane on their own in a capitalist system. (Cf. IBM, circa 1970.)

The European Commission launched its own in-depth review [of Google] last year… The European case was triggered by complaints that Google had unfairly penalised some websites by pushing them down the rankings in search results, and abused its dominance of search advertising.

What an outrage. But exactly how do you ‘abuse’ advertising — on your own site?

The complaints spread to the US last year when some companies complained that a move into the travel search business with the acquisition of ITA Software would give Google an unfair advantage over other travel information services on the internet.

While the Department of Justice approved the ITA deal this year, the Federal Trade Commission almost immediately began a preliminary, broad-ranging investigation into Google’s power.

How typical. Even when you get permission from the government, you can still be prosecuted by the government. (Cf. BP, circa 2010.)

People who have talked to the FTC have anticipated for weeks that the agency would soon begin issuing information requests, known as civil investigative demands. Such a move would signal that its inquiries had a entered a new, formal phase

Yes, it’s also known as the election cycle. And those Democrat votes aren’t going to buy themselves.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, June 24th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “Google Faces FTC ‘Antitrust’ Investigation”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    So this is how they focus like a laser on jobs?
    Is it any wonder “WHY” each week this country has more than 400,000
    new unemployed joining the rank and file.
    I ask this, “Where is our Misery Index?”

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      I also ask, “Who in this nation is better off now than they were in 2008?”.

      Take your time.

  2. canary says:

    Obama flew private plane to Google for campaign money during Senate. Really mad they said they had to hire top of class people. Obama told Google they needed to give scholarships to minorities. Guess they didn’t want to help his presidential campaign because he said they should charge people for their service.
    And so much for Bill Gates going back on his promise of free software. Now he donates to Africa and green global causes. And no free software.

    And to think Obama promised free internet.

    Wisconsin University is upset because their 10 years of multi-millions of federal stimulus dollars for
    free broad band service may be coming to an end. snif snif.

    • tranquil.night says:

      Those greedy corporatists need to be reminded they serve a greater master than themselves now. This probe should send just the right messsage to think twice about stiffing the regime and sheltering that money in those non-profits and foreign accounts. It’s the Marxist from Chicago Way. I bet we see this 100-hundred fold if Bam wins a second term and has free reign to start trolling around for shakedown targets for the cash starved government Beast.

  3. Liberals Demise says:

    dingleBarry: Who’s been eating crackers in my bed?
    google: You said we could!

  4. The Redneck says:

    This is one of the things that proves “Capitalism” and “Big Business” are not synonyms.

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