From Praise To Outrage: Reactions To Google’s Antitrust Settlement
The post-mortem analysis of Google’s antitrust settlement happened very quickly yesterday and this morning with some journalists and analysts concluding that factors other than the law were responsible behind the scenes. For example, Politico asserts it was largely “a calculated and expensive charm offensive” (lobbying) that drove the outcome yesterday.
An even more absurd analysis argues that Google is essential to US foreign policy and thus the FTC let the company off the hook.
While Google lobbying may have had an impact, in reality the the facts and the law weren’t on the FTC’s side on the question of Google’s alleged “search bias.” There was little or no documented consumer harm. The harm claimed by Google competitors was all speculative: potential harm to their businesses which was supposed to be a proxy for consumer harm. But as FTC Chair Jon Leibowitz said yesterday, “The law protects competition not competitors.”
The company reactions to yesterday’s settlement announcement came swiftly and ran the gamut from support and approval to anger, even sadness. Read a sampling of the full spectrum of those reactions here.