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Google Targeted (Again) For Antitrust Oversight Hearings

Senator Mike Lee issues new call

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Google’s best lawyers may want to start packing their bags for Washington, D.C. Today, Senator Mike Lee called for the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust Subcommittee to conduct an oversight hearing, and Lee identified Google as the sole target.

That means Lee, a Republican from Utah, joined Herb Kohl, a Democrat from Wisconsin, in expressing concern about Google’s dominance. Only where Kohl just mentioned Google three times in a press release that also touched on prescription drugs, agriculture, healthcare, and many other things, Lee’s statement was rather more aggressive.

Without actually accusing the search giant of wrongdoing, Lee said, “Google’s position as the preeminent search engine may be abused so as to disadvantage competing vertical search sites to the detriment of advertisers and internet users.”

Later, Lee also suggested, “Google’s powerful position as an Internet gatekeeper reduces the company’s incentive to compete with other search engines by providing enhanced privacy protection for consumers.”

Those are some serious topics. That means Google’s reputation could be in real danger, since inquiries on a national stage could stir up all sorts of suspicions, regardless of the senators’ findings.

Indeed, it’s possible the process has already started, considering Google’s stock fell 0.57 percent today while the Dow and Nasdaq rose 0.50 percent and 0.54 percent, respectively.

We’ll be sure to report if any other major politicians take a stand on Google’s possible antitrust violations.

Google Targeted (Again) For Antitrust Oversight Hearings
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  • Good

    That’s great news. I hope Insidegoogle.com pushes for our “Right To Be Forgotten” like Spain and rest of the EU are doing now. Users should be able to block anything about them from the search engines. Even if it is an inexpensive service would probably help too.

  • Adsense Publisher

    This accusation is ludicrous.

    Google has taken steps to insure that people who do not want to be tracked will not be tracked. Other companies as well have come out with their own browser add-ons to stop trackers too. They’re all scripted, and that’s their weak point and how you can prevent them from tracking you as well. Now the thing is there is no opt out by default. If browsers were to have a little box you could check to be opted out of tracking that would be nice. So the script would check to see if the browser requests no site or if that site is on a list of sites that is not to track the visitor the script simply does not track that visitor.

    • SV

      @Adsense Publisher – The scope of the ‘accusation’ is beyond just user privacy.

      What is being raised is “Google’s position as the preeminent search engine may be abused so as to disadvantage competing vertical search sites to the detriment of advertisers and internet users.”

      Why is that so farfetched and ludicrous?
      Google could easily impact other veritcal search providers if they desired. Its great for consumers and advertisers if Google is kept in check. If Google is not doing anything wrong, they have no need to fear from the additional checks and measures.

      BTW, in my honest opinion, these measures are quite relevant. It’s not like Google adheres to their ‘Do no evil’ mantra consistently anymore.