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New FTC head sides with Google amid antitrust flak

updated 12:55 pm EDT, Wed May 13, 2009

FTC head sides with Google

The new chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, Jon Leibowitz, is sympathetic to Google despite the government body's investigation into antitrust concerns, a CSPAN interview has uncovered. While Google "certainly has a dominant position in search advertising," argues Leibowitz, "just having a dominant position doesn't in any way violate the law." Problems only arise when a company moves to exclude other competitors, as Microsoft did with Windows and Internet Explorer in the 1990s, according to the FTC head.

"If you get to a dominant position or a monopoly position by virtue of your own acumen, that's really the American way. We want to see that," he says. "I certainly don't see Google as abusing its power right now, no. And also it's brought many benefits to consumers."

The FTC has however been probing into whether ties are too close between the directorates of Google and Apple. Google CEO Eric Schmidt also sits on the Apple board, while Genentech CEO Arthur Levinson has a position with both of the other companies. Apple and Google are increasingly venturing into similar territory, producing technology such as web browsers, smartphone operating systems and paid digital videos.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. JeffHarris

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999



    He's absolutely correct.

    I've never seen any evidence of Google directly trying to harm competitors. Google seems to actually create interesting services and strives to improve them.

    Microsoft is like an engorged tick embedded in the backside of... well... everything they touch.

  1. dagamer34

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2007


    Open source

    And because a lot of the stuff they promote is open source, it's not as if they can lock people out on a whim.

  1. Salty

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Jul 2005



    I think a big part of it is just how the company chooses to act. Apple has a massively dominant position in the media player market but they'd hardly be comparable to Microsoft.

  1. Makosuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Funny Thing, That

    Microsoft in the 90s is a good example. Funny thing, though, that after being convicted of being a predatory monopoly, nothing actually HAPPENED to MS. Whoops.

    As much as I'm not comfortable with Google owning the means of finding information on the web, period, you can't really accuse them of acting in a monopolistic manner about it--their product is just better, and that's why everyone uses it.

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