Consumer Watchdog Articles

Watchdog Suggests DOJ Break Up Google
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Depending on how you look at it, Google’s either in a whole lot of trouble, or it’s gotten a lucky break.  The consumer advocacy group Consumer Watchdog went after the search giant again today, calling for the Department of Justice to take action, but arguably went too far by suggesting that the company be broken up.

Google Blasted Over Lobbying Expenditure

Google’s paying a whole lot of money to talk to politicians, and the consumer advocacy group known as Consumer Watchdog isn’t at all happy about it.  Consumer Watchdog condemned Google this morning for spending $1.38 million in the first quarter of this year.

That expenditure works out to a 57 percent increase over what Google spent during the same period in 2009, and Consumer Watchdog’s John M. Simpson observed as a result, "Google is relatively new to the influence-peddling game, but they’re now one of the highest rollers in Washington."

Advocacy Group Asks DOJ To Probe Google Search Results
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Consumer Watchdog today called on the Justice Department to guarantee that its ongoing antitrust probe of Google’s business practices include an investigation into if the company is manipulating its search results to favor its own products.

Consumer Groups Ask FTC To Block Google AdMob Deal
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Two consumer groups Monday asked the Federal Trade Commission to block Google’s $750 million deal to acquire mobile advertising firm, AdMob, on anti-trust grounds.

In a joint letter to the FTC, Consumer Watchdog and the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) said Google is simply buying its way to dominance in the mobile advertising market, reducing competition to the detriment of consumers.

Advocacy Group Calls For Scrutiny Of Microsoft-Yahoo Deal
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Advocacy organization Consumer Watchdog is urging the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department to look closely at the proposed Microsoft-Yahoo search deal to ensure there are no antitrust violations and that user privacy is guaranteed.

Under the proposed deal Yahoo would use Microsoft’s Bing to sell ads that appear with search results. Google currently has 65 percent of the U.S. search market. Microsoft and Yahoo have 28 percent. Conventional wisdom is that the combination of the two smaller search businesses would offer stronger competition to Google.

Google Prepares To Hold Another D.C. Talk
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Sometimes, Google and the government get along; one week from today, for example, Google will host a gathering in Washington, D.C. to discuss national security and Web 2.0.  Relationships don’t always proceed smoothly, however, and two consumer watchdog groups have asked the president to decide against hiring a certain Googler.

Google Reaccused Of Lobbying Against Privacy Provisions
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Several months ago, Consumer Watchdog asked Google to "cease a rumored lobbying effort aimed at allowing the sale of electronic medical records."  Google responded by calling the claim totally false.  Now, Consumer Watchdog’s come back with evidence that Google lobbied for something health-related, and the group’s demanded an explanation.