Msg#: 4446440 posted 9:37 am on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)
Federal regulators escalated their antitrust investigation of Google on Thursday by hiring a prominent litigator, sending a strong signal that they are prepared to take the Internet giant to court.
The Federal Trade Commission is examining Google’s immensely powerful and lucrative search technology, which directs users to hundreds of millions of online and offline destinations every day. The case has the potential to be the biggest showdown between regulators and Silicon Valley since the government took on Microsoft 14 years ago.
Then as now, the core question is whether power was abused. The agency’s inquiry has focused on whether Google has manipulated its search results, making it less likely that competing companies or products appear at the top of a results page.
Msg#: 4446440 posted 10:11 am on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)
Google has manipulated its search results, making it less likely that competing companies or products appear at the top of a results page.
Do they have more responsibility when being popular? Is there any law against manipulating the results? Google may claim that the search results is their own property and they can provide whatever they feel like.
No monopoly can be allowed to continue un-regulated and closely scrutinized when it impinges on the well being of society, people's livelihoods, their health, education, etc..
If there were reasonable choice and competition in such an important market then there would be little to argue about. This is not however the case.
It is no different than when every PC got shipped with Windows and Internet Explorer. Now we see a good spread of browsers being used. We also see a good spread of operating systems being used on different devices. No company can price manipulate and the consumer has real choice.
Google spent $5.03 million on lobbying from January through March of this year, a record for the Internet giant, and a 240 percent increase from the $1.48 million it spent on lobbyists in the same quarter a year ago
One might argue that any act by a person to point back links at a competitors web site with the intention to disrupt their business is actually a criminal offence. There are some thoughts from a criminal lawyer that I have just spoken to that Google may have triggered that interpretation of the law. The consequence could be that they must attend court under oath if back links are part of a criminal proceeding - especially so if there is a defendant at risk of criminal as opposed to civil penalties. In some European courts, Google may not have the right to refuse giving evidence.
I think Google's days as we know it are numbered. Monopolies are near monopolies are not good for society. They should simply become a paid listings directory based on adsense. I believe this is where they are going already.