Reactions to Google’s Antitrust Settlement

Analysts and critics have shown harsh reactions to the settlement of Google with FTC. One of the harshest remarks that have come is that ‘FTC let the company off the hook, simple because Google is a key player in the country’s financial policy’. Politico, a major news company in the Country, concluded the results to be biased and asserted that ‘the settlement was a result of a calculated and expensive charm offensive lobbying.’ Rather than legal factors, there were other forces behind the concluding results. Dave Heiner, Microsoft VP & Deputy General Counsel, stated the results as ‘Weak and Unusual’. He gave the statement “there appears to be no reason, despite the FTC’s optimistic statements this morning, to believe that Google recognizes its responsibilities as an industry leader. The good news is that other antitrust agencies, within the United States and overseas, are still examining Google’s conduct.” Matt Lawson, Vice President of Marin Software has said that “Providing advertisers with true data portability is a huge leap forward for Google, search marketers, and the ecosystem of tools providers that support them.” At the same time, its competitor Kenshoo also has seen the positive side of the settlement and the CEO of the company, Yoav Izhar-Prato made the remarks that “We commend Google for addressing the issue of advertising data portability and recognizing the value that companies like Kenshoo bring to the digital marketing ecosystem,” The reactions have been different from different organizations. However, the fact remains that 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. In the words of FTC Chair, Jon Leibowitz ‘the law protects competition not competitors.’

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