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Google And Other Tech Firms Brace For More Anti-Trust Scrutiny
Search Engine Land ^ | May 18, 2009 | Greg Sterling

Posted on 05/21/2009 11:47:27 AM PDT by Blado

As the Wall Street Journal reports, and as we’ve written about before, the Obama Administration is getting ready to be much tougher than its predecessor in the anti-trust realm. The terrible irony is that a large number of tech executives and workers at Silicon Valley companies supported the Obama candidacy and now it may impact them in a very direct way. All this goes double for Google, whose CEO Eric Schmidt was an advisor to Obama on technology issues.

The new head of anti-trust for the US Department of Justice, Christine Varney, has already used the “m-word” in connection with Google’s market position. (European regulators, much tougher than the Bush Administration consistently, will continue to bring anti-trust heat and regulatory scrutiny to companies from their side of the Atlantic.) But there’s also reason to think that a Microsoft-like anti-trust action against Google may not happen.

The Journal article points out that Google has spent increasing amounts of time and money with legislators and regulators seeking to educate them and address their concerns in a more pre-emptive way. And an analysis in the New York Times suggests, a splashy anti-trust case against Google is unlikely absent more than “size and strength”:

Google’s power is a cause of worry in many industries — media, advertising, telecommunications and software. Yet being large, successful and ambitious is not an antitrust violation. “You’ve got to be big, and you have to be bad,” observed Andrew I. Gavil, a law professor at Howard University. “You have to be both.”

In the Microsoft case, the software giant’s monopoly in personal computer operating systems was not an antitrust problem. It was its corporate actions, including using contracts and bullying tactics to stifle competition, that broke the law, the federal courts ruled. Such strong-arm practices, legal experts say, have not been part of the Google story.

Unless Google is shown to engage in a pattern of anticompetitive conduct, the company is likely to face constant scrutiny, but not a major federal suit, antitrust experts say.

The Times piece goes on to say regulators may examine Google’s every move, including whether it favors its own properties vs. competitors, but that Google will need to cross the line with behavior that actively tries to thwart competition before an anti-trust action would be filed.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; Politics/Elections; Technical
KEYWORDS: payback; schadenfreude
Bambi's tech supporters have second thoughts. The parable of the scorpion and the frog crossing the river comes to mind.
1 posted on 05/21/2009 11:47:28 AM PDT by Blado
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To: Blado

Welcome to shakedown street.


2 posted on 05/21/2009 11:50:26 AM PDT by PogySailor (We're so screwed.....welcome to the American Oligarchy)
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To: Blado

Consequences.


3 posted on 05/21/2009 11:50:52 AM PDT by DonaldC
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To: Blado

I could not help but laugh....silly liberals....Obama is for socialists


4 posted on 05/21/2009 12:12:29 PM PDT by UCFRoadWarrior (The Biggest Threat To American Soverignty Is Rampant Economic Anti-Americanism)
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To: UCFRoadWarrior

I’ve always believed that most liberal/socialists throw tantrums, but counted on conservatives to keep the wheels turning and everything working. They might vote for it, but they don’t want it to happen. Or they don’t believe it will happen. Or they still think Obama’s unicorn is going to crap some magic skittles for them.


5 posted on 05/21/2009 12:23:35 PM PDT by Richard Kimball (We're all criminals. They just haven't figured out what some of us have done yet.)
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Hey google guys, google this: Who Is John Galt?


6 posted on 05/21/2009 12:58:29 PM PDT by Blado (''crush the bourgeoisie...grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation'' - V.I. Lenin)
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To: Blado
Yet being large, successful and ambitious is not an antitrust violation. “You’ve got to be big, and you have to be bad,” observed Andrew I. Gavil, a law professor at Howard University. “You have to be both.”

And by "bad" they mean not making those monthly payments to the DNC coffers.

7 posted on 05/21/2009 12:59:49 PM PDT by dfwgator (1996 2006 2008 - Good Things Come in Threes)
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To: Blado

“The * delightful * irony is that a large number of tech executives and workers at Silicon Valley companies supported the Obama candidacy and now it may impact them in a very direct way.”

Stupid is as stupid does! Enjoy your victory, dimwits.


8 posted on 05/21/2009 5:08:41 PM PDT by Scarlet Pimpernel (And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?)
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To: Blado

Wired Magazine has an article about this proxy attack on Google by Microsoft and some other corporate players using the socialists in Washington as their goon squad. Hard to feel sorry for anyone in this power play as they all are “feeding the crocodile” of socialism hoping it will eat them last.


9 posted on 05/22/2009 8:30:39 AM PDT by anymouse (God didn't write this sitcom we call life, he's just the critic.)
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