Google, Fresh From Destroying Journalism, Now Co-Opting The FTC
Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 22, 2012
This is ominous:
President Obama announced Monday that he had nominated George Mason University professor Joshua Wright for the U.S. Federal and Trade Commission. Wright has been selected to replace a Republican on the committee, and as such, it will come as no surprise that Wright has a long track record of advocating against anti-trust enforcement and the heavy hand of government.
But what seems to be overlooked in much of the coverage of his selection is that Wright has a history of receiving funding for his work from groups supported by Google. And of course, as we know, Google has had some ongoing tussles with the FTC, and will likely have more down the road.
I first came across Wright’s name earlier this year as part of research for a column I wrote examining the various ways Google and Microsoft sought to engage third parties such as lawyers, pundits, academics, and communications firms, to influence public opinion and policy. There is little requirement to disclose the money that goes toward wielding this soft influence.
Bloomberg is reporting today that the FTC may take a dive on exercising oversight of Google’s government-protected monopoly:
Federal Trade Commission officials are unsure they have enough evidence to sue Google successfully under antitrust laws for giving its own services top billing and pushing down the offerings of rivals, said the people, who asked for anonymity because the discussions aren’t public. Regulators are also looking at whether the ranking system’s benefits to consumers outweigh any harm suffered by rivals including NexTag Inc. and Kayak Software Corp. (KYAK), the people said.
Right. Because when you push your competitors’ results (and prices) down in the search rankings, consumers always win. (?)
Time to squawk to your local media while you still can. Also time to start using other search engines, like Duck Duck Go, Bing or Ixquick.
3 Responses to “Google, Fresh From Destroying Journalism, Now Co-Opting The FTC”
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.