Google revelations trigger swift bipartisan call for action
All this week. Congress has been holding antitrust hearings with a specific i on big tech companies and also this week in investigation published in politico found that nearly a decade ago commissioners at the federal trade commission apparently ignored evidence. That google was building an anticompetitive monopoly in search advertising. It's a topic for quality assurance where we take a second look at big tech story in the news. Matt stoler is research director at the nonprofit election economic liberties project in two thousand twelve. The federal trade commission said we have a bunch of evidence that google is trying to monopolize the entire internet and the five commissioners voted five. Did nothing not to bring a case. So you fast. Forward eight years and google is this giant intermediates the flow of information all over the world controls the internet and there are anti-trust cases against it from a whole bunch of states and forces all over the world which are effectively the anti-trust cases that the ftc did not bring in two thousand twelve companies. Trying to get bigger is not that unusual. What was it about what google was doing at the time that suggested that there should have been a case competing by improving your product or service is what we want but competing by signing agreements to exclude your competitors so that they can't get into the market. That's the essence of antitrust law. Google pays today about ten to fifteen billion dollars a year to apple saying when consumers use their iphones and they open safari on their iphones and they do a search that search automatically goes through google. There were emails that were revealed in this case. They were in the footnotes. That said the effectively the google executives were saying. Yeah we're doing we're signing these deals to monopolize we're signing these deals to exclude competitors from the market in some ways tech with a new crash industry. Then it is clear from these papers that you know. The economists working with the ftc made some predictions that were couldn't have been more wrong. Let's say can you chalk this up to simply not understanding what was happening in the tech industry or what could happen. So one part of a broad problem of elite lawlessness in america and across the west the way that anti-trust lawyers think about the world. They just are completely out of touch that that has to do with a very old school framework where they only look at What's called consumer welfare. If something is good for consumers that's the only thing they care about and they were like. Oh google offers a bunch of free stuff. And then if they're doing that the nothing that they do is bad and the so they accepted a whole bunch of arguments from google and essentially said to the commission don't file a case meanwhile the anti-trust lawyers at the ftc. Were like yeah. This is obvious stuff. This is really. this is really bad.