Is The Justice Dep't Really Thinking About Going After All Of Google's Business On Antitrust?

from the political-extortion dept

We've been somewhat confused by the talk of an antitrust action against Google for its ad deal with Yahoo (which doesn't seem likely to raise prices despite what critics say). However, it's become increasingly clear that the gov't is very likely going to move ahead with this. As we already noted, the Justice Dep't has already hired a well-known outside attorney to lead the charge. It seems unlikely that they would do that if they weren't planning to make a big splash. Plus, news is spreading that the Justice Department is already sharing info on its case with California's Attorney General and potentially other state Attorneys General as well.

Now comes the news that the Justice Department isn't just thinking about stopping the ad deal between Yahoo and Google, but in going after Google in general as a monopolist. This is positively ridiculous, and is clearly politically motivated and funded by companies who simply don't like Google. Yet, nowhere has there been any evidence that Google's size has been used to abuse pricing power or to make things more expensive for consumers. Rather, almost everything it's done has been to make things easier or cheaper for consumers.

Unfortunately, it appears that in this politically motivated world, where Google didn't "play the game," a bunch of politicians and Justice Department officials want to charge Google with the crime of "being too successful." Honestly, that's about all they seem likely to have on the company, because it's hard to see how it's abused its monopoly power in a way that actually harms consumers or prevents competition from entering the market.

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    duane (profile), 12 Sep 2008 @ 4:32am

    The ad thing yes

    As I've said previously, I do think the ad deal between Google and Yahoo deserve some very close scrutiny. The sheer numbers they will control could have a chilling effect on innovation in that area. Or it could not. It's worth a look.

    However, looking at them for being a monopoly overall is ridiculous. They've got hot competition in every area they make a move into. I truly think what freaks people out is the free aspect of their offerings. As pointed out above, it's hard to beat that price point and no one seems willing to try. That's not really their fault though.

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