updated 08:32 pm EST, Mon November 19, 2012
California Democrats ask FTC not to accuse Google of unfair acts
Two California congresspersons have weighed in on the looming FTC antitrust case against Google, asking the Federal Trade Commission to refrain from accusing the search giant of "unfair" acts in building its antitrust case. The lawmakers -- both of which have received campaign contributions from Google -- allege that a reliance on "unfair" acts in building the FTC's case would amount to the agency overreaching its authority in pursuance of a case. Such an overreach, they say, could lead to difficulties and uncertainties for companies, stifling economic growth.
Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) are the two congresswomen asking the FTC to refrain from using the "unfair" standard in deciding whether to file an antitrust case. The "unfair" standard, they say, would represent an "unwarranted, unwise" move that could "have negative implications for our nation's economy."
The FTC is pursuing a number of cases against Google, with regulators expressing concern over the company's privacy and tracking policies, its licensing of standards-essential patents, and possible abuse of its dominant search position. Sources close to the agency have said that regulators are leaning toward an antitrust suit, and the agency is reportedly pressuring Google to come to a settlement before such a suit would be filed.
Reuters reports that both Lofgren and Eshoo received significant contributions from Google this past election cycle. Google was Eshoo's seventh largest contributor, giving $13,000 this year, while Lofgren received $14,500.