Google's antitrust settlement means few changes

Both rivals and supporters of the FTC's settlement say it will have little effect on Google's business

By , IDG News Service |  IT Management

The CCIA largely sees the settlement as a "measured decision" by the FTC, said Ed Black, president and CEO of the trade group. However, Black is concerned that the agreement on content scraping from other websites will raise questions about the long-established fair use of snippets across the Web, he said.

The FTC should be applauded for its "prudence," said Glenn Manishin, an antitrust lawyer at Troutman Sanders, a law firm with offices in Washington, D.C., and other cities. "We trust the marketplace to make the best decisions and not government," he said. Manishin represented trade groups that called for tough sanctions in the U.S. antitrust case against Microsoft.

The FTC's actions reflect the belief that there are few barriers to entry in the online advertising market, he added.

The conservative National Taxpayers Union and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce also applauded the settlement.

The FTC and its staff "undoubtedly wanted more than the few voluntary modifications to which Google has agreed," added Thomas Lenard, president of the Technology Policy Institute, a free-market think tank. The agency demonstrated its professionalism "by concluding that the evidence did not support bringing an antitrust case and that no additional remedy was likely to benefit consumers," he added in an email.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

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