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As Congressman Defends Google, Will FTC Blink?
Oct 18, 2012
Last week, inside sources told Reuters that four of the five members of the Federal Trade Commission were in favor of an antitrust action against Google, but this week one Congressman came out in defense of Google. Rep. Jared Polis, Democrat of Colorado, who has himelf built businesses online, argues that Google provides valuable services, that consumers can switch to existing competitors if they're dissatisfied, that new competitors are free to enter the search market, and that formerly dominant online businesses have fallen -- and he warns that the FTC might lose some of its antitrust power if it brings a case against Google.
The antitrust laws, of course, target effective producers for oppressive treatment. And because in the case of Google -- a company with which millions of Americans, perhaps most Americans, choose to do business every day -- the FTC risks demonstrating to the public just how evil and destructive antitrust law is, the FTC would indeed risk its power by challenging Google.
In a speech, Google CEO Larry Page identified regulation as a serious threat to the future of the business he helped found -- and to its users: "We don’t actually know how the Internet is going to work 10 years from now. So it’s kind of, I think, a mistake to start carving out large classes that you don’t really understand yet that you don’t want to let people do. I think that’s the approach a lot of regulators are taking, which I think is sad."
Greg Sterling, a commentator at Search Engline Land argues that the FTC's challenge is now to save face.