Washington, DC, June 23, 2011 –– In response to news reports that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will be issuing subpoenas in connection with an antitrust probe, Steve Pociask, President of the American Consumer Institute, made the following statement:
“”News reports that the FTC plans to conduct a probe of Google’s antitrust practices is welcome news to consumers. Google’s potential market power and apparent disregard for privacy poses a real risk to consumers and small businesses given the company’s dominance of the online search and advertising markets. The company’s growing dominance and pattern of behavior has raised significant concern among members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, as well as state attorneys general. A few months ago, a Federal Judge rejected the Google Book settlement, raising antitrust, privacy and copyright issues. The FTC also announced remedies with Google for its “deceptive privacy practices,” and numerous law enforcement agencies have targeted the company over its Spy-Fi practices. In light of this disturbing track record, a wide ranging investigation by the FTC is more than justified in order to determine whether Google is violating existing laws.
A healthy and competitive Internet is vital to our nation’s economy, investment, job creation and to the free flow of information. As the dominant provider of search and search advertising, Google functions as a key Internet gatekeeper for information. This means that members of Congress, the FTC and other agencies deserve answers about their commitment to competition, privacy and transparency.”
The American Consumer Institute (ACI) Center for Citizen Research is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational and research organization dedicated to empirical analysis of consumers’ economic welfare. For more information about the Institute, visit www.theamericanconsumer.org.