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Senators ask FTC to investigate Google

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 20 Dec 2011 3:55 User comments (6)

Senators ask FTC to investigate Google After the Antitrust Subcommittee of the US Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing in September where some senators accused Google of fixing search results, it seemed inevitable something bigger was coming. Now two senators are urging the FTC to investigate the search giant for alleged antitrust violations.
In their letter, Senators Herb Kohl and Mike Lee imply it is Google's responsibility not only to generate traffic for websites which compete with their own services, but also to avoid discriminating against websites which promote rival search engines.

While the two make a point of saying they have no opinion about the legality of Google's practices, their questions for Google representatives in the Senate hearing made it clear they have problems with the company's policies. Lee went so far as to accuse Google of fixing search results.

The letter also addresses the issue of mobile search, pointing out Google's success in that area. While acknowledging a Google statement that they do not require their products to be installed on Android devices, they senators suggest the FTC should be proactive in somehow requiring that.

In fact there is no reason to believe this is an issue of any kind. The most successful Android tablet made so far, the Kindle Fire, replaces Google apps with Amazon alternatives and clearly favors Amazon services as well.

The reality is, there is no legal requirement that Google help their competitors. There is also no legal justification for demanding their search results be unbiased. Likewise, they have no legal obligation to promote competing services.

The purpose of antitrust laws is not to prevent a company from being too successful. It is to ensure successful companies are not allowed to prevent others from being successful as well.

Read the letter in its entirety below:

US Senators Ask FTC To Investigate Google

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6 user comments

120.12.2011 13:00

Is it me but it sure sounds like these senators are bought and paid for by M$? How can Google fix search results, seems like a completely stupid notion. While I think G00gle is clear they will give better placement of search results for companies that have paid a fee for advertisement and that i think is fair and open.

It it just me but this sure seems like a veiled attack coming from M$ buy way of some senators on M$'s payroll?

220.12.2011 14:03

These arguments against Google are pathetic...They invented Google Search, why are senators even suggesting that Google should be obligated to assist their competition? That isn't how Capitalism works!

If Google wants to advertise for themselves by fixing search results, they should be damn well allowed to. They let Apple do whatever they please with their products, and almost let AT&T take over the mobile phone service industry...why get on Google's case for them giving themselves an advantage over the competition through their own product?

320.12.2011 18:05

I hope Google says that it's all in the algorithms and those are proprietary.

This witch hunt is old. Bing sucks. Bing will ALWAYS suck. Bing does FAR MORE of this crap then Google does.

Hey Senators, here's how the net works. If Google screws us, we leave them. It is NOT in their best interest to do what you are claiming.



Oh, Im sorry... Did the middle of my sentence interrupt the beginning of yours?

420.12.2011 18:48

Originally posted by Notcow:
These arguments against Google are pathetic...They invented Google Search, why are senators even suggesting that Google should be obligated to assist their competition? That isn't how Capitalism works!

If Google wants to advertise for themselves by fixing search results, they should be damn well allowed to. They let Apple do whatever they please with their products, and almost let AT&T take over the mobile phone service industry...why get on Google's case for them giving themselves an advantage over the competition through their own product?
Google didn't invent search, there were plenty of search engines around before g00gle ever started out. What g00gle did was improved a search algorithm(s) which are still proprietary.

520.12.2011 20:19

why should anybody take any notice of thses bunch of corporate shills who have just got a law signed which removes ALL constitutional rights from citizens?.. Wake up USA.. your OWN GOVERNMENT is now a clear and present danger to your so called freedom!!




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622.12.2011 19:28

Originally posted by SomeBozo:
Originally posted by Notcow:
These arguments against Google are pathetic...They invented Google Search, why are senators even suggesting that Google should be obligated to assist their competition? That isn't how Capitalism works!

If Google wants to advertise for themselves by fixing search results, they should be damn well allowed to. They let Apple do whatever they please with their products, and almost let AT&T take over the mobile phone service industry...why get on Google's case for them giving themselves an advantage over the competition through their own product?
Google didn't invent search, there were plenty of search engines around before g00gle ever started out. What g00gle did was improved a search algorithm(s) which are still proprietary.
I didn't say they invented search, I said they invented Google search...they bought Google.com and made it a webcrawler, they should have complete freedom to do what they want with their website. They paid for it.

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