Mr. Google Goes To Washington

from the and-sells-out dept

The recent antitrust spat between Google and Microsoft is just part of a broader strategy at Google to cozy up to Washington. Considering the fact that the tech industry hasn't typically had much lobbying clout, the move might be regarded as smart. But on the whole, this can't be regarded as a good development for the industry. Cato Institute director David Boaz has a good essay on how Google is getting sucked into what he calls the "parasite economy" (via Tech Liberaton Front). As he puts it, more of Google's talent and money is now being used to marshal support from Washington, rather than direct competition in the marketplace, which is a losing scenario for everyone (especially consumers) in the long term. You might think that pursuing antitrust issues is a corollary to the fight against the messed up patent system, which has the effect of creating monopolies. But it's just the opposite. Pursuing antitrust cases, like aggressively using patents, is a way of using the auspices of government to stave off the competition. As Google is clearly demonstrating, Microsoft can do very little to stop its advance, and thus its very success undermines any claims that it's up against unfair competition or needs government support.

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  1. identicon
    perry, 22 Jun 2007 @ 8:40am

    Just my opinion...

    actually..i think it is quit silly.

    ..some of you say that they should focus on real-time products. When in fact lobbying will help them get bills sumbitted and passed in the house. These bills can be anything from the legailty of censorship in china, which could pose a great revenue issue if they are forced to part with certian rights or certian regions. Some bills could even be passed to give technology companies a tax break (like we do big oil compaines) so they can better diversify their research dollars, which will make new and current products better, easier to use and more durable.

    ..by the way i thought there was a seperation of search and state anyway(laff). i dont understand why google is beging made to fight a fight that the american government is not even addressing!! I always thought it was the people who raise their voice or raise thier guns..the ones who change in this country. So why start asking corporations to do that now?! I mean i understand the concept of if china loses money from google pulling out they will obvisouly give more rights to their citzens, but this is not iron clad. What could happen is the chinnese government could kick google out. They have their on search and im sure they have disected googles over the years. So who would this hurt? Google, investors and consumers, who would much rather governments and citizens fight commies and let the corp's stick to making our products better!

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