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 Post subject: Google, the FTC, and Level Playing Fields
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:19 pm 
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Great article on the FTC hiring an outside attorney to potentially bring anti trust charges against Google. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2 ... oogle.html

So, from a professional web marketer and analyst to my lawyer compadres here... Good suit? Misguided suit?

I often state it's others failures to compete that leave Google as the giant they are. Do you tend to think Google plays unfairly?

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 Post subject: Re: Google, the FTC, and Level Playing Fields
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:06 pm 
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Not sure what you are asking?

Is it that others "fail to compete" and thus create their own demise? Or, is Google "cheating" somehow?

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: Google, the FTC, and Level Playing Fields
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:46 pm 
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Rochester wrote:
Great article on the FTC hiring an outside attorney to potentially bring anti trust charges against Google. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2 ... oogle.html

So, from a professional web marketer and analyst to my lawyer compadres here... Good suit? Misguided suit?

I often state it's others failures to compete that leave Google as the giant they are. Do you tend to think Google plays unfairly?

I think Google has been ingenius in leveraging its platform to expand its search business by offering free services, such as Gmail, Google Maps, Google Wallet, Google Docs, Google Scholar and the Chrome web browser, that hurt competitors in both search and in similar fee-based services. But is that worthy of antitrust liability? I don't think so.

Antitrust law is designed to protect and promote market competition and the benefits it provides to consumers: namely, lower prices and increased production. Hence, antitrust law renders unlawful (and in some cases, criminalizes) actions by entities having market power (a/k/a, monopoly power) that unreasonably restrict competition between competitors. Classic examples of such behavior include price fixing agreements, market allocation agreements, group boycotts, and product tying arrangements. However, antitrust law is not designed to go after entities that achieve and protect their dominant market positions by being better than their competitors at giving consumers what they want, like lower prices or innovation. In other words, antitrust law is supposed to protect competiiton, not competitors.

In the case of Google, they are certainly the most dominant player in the search business. But they mostly achieve that by being good at what they do. And while they may be protecting their search business by offering free services in other fields, the services themselves are free and, as far as I know, are not being forced upon consumers.

Furthermore, even if Google's search algorithm would appear to promote its services over those of its competitors, it's not doing so in a coercive manner. From my viewpoint, nobody is being forced to use Google to conduct their searches, other than Chrome users who are not being forced to use Chrome. (Unlike IE, Chrome must be downloaded by a user wishing to have Chrome; it does not come installed on computers out of the box.) Those that use Google appear to do so willingly because Google is good at what they do.

So based purely on that, I don't think what Google is doing is bad; otherwise I think an antitrust suit would have been filed a while ago. That said, I have no idea what the FTC has found regarding Google's practices, and it's possible that they are aware of something particularly nefarious that Google has done. But I will wait to pass judgment on Google until I actually see what the FTC is alleging.

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 Post subject: Re: Google, the FTC, and Level Playing Fields
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:34 pm 
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ZelieMike wrote:
Not sure what you are asking?

Is it that others "fail to compete" and thus create their own demise? Or, is Google "cheating" somehow?

ZM


Yes, that is the question :)

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