Three officials from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) claim their 2013 choice to close the Google antitrust investigation was not triggered by the tech companies lobby and White House associations. The FTC members came forth with the declaration because of a Wall Street Journal article that claimed Google managers had a whirlwind of discussions with top authorities before the investigation was canceled.
Published this week, the Wall Street Journal report quoted an unintentionally discharged FTC record in which specialists had reasoned about Google conduct the following :
“Has resulted — and will result — in real harm to consumers and to innovation in the online search and advertising markets.”
In their reaction, FTC Chairwomen Edith Ramirez and Commissioners Julie Brill and Maureen K. Ohlhausen claimed the commission’s settlement with Google tended to the concerns mentioned in the document by getting Google’s commitment to change some of its business policies. They included that the tech giant has respected those commitments for the last two years.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Brody Mullins reported that Google managers have gone to the White House around 230 times since Obama is president. Mullins referred to guest logs and emails that indicated Google Chairman Eric Schmidt had met with a senior consultant to the president and Google Larry Page had met with FTC authorities preceding the FTC’s declaration that it was closing its in Google’s claimed anti-competition practices.
Alongside Mullins’ report, the publication distributed some of the 160-page FTC document from Aug. 8, 2012, that reviewed various discoveries from the investigation. The memorandum was not meant for public release but a large part of it was accidentally discharged because of an open-doc request.
A conclusion page in the document read:
“Google has strengthened its monopolies over search and search advertising through anticompetitive means, and has forestalled competitors’ and would-be competitors’ ability to challenge those monopolies, and this will have lasting negative effects on consumer welfare.”
The FTC reported in the beginning of 2013 that its members had voted 5-0 to close the examination concerning Google’s search practices. At the time the commission said that its staff directed various meetings and hearings and surveyed more than 9 million pages of reports from Google and other relevant actors during its examination.
This week’s announcement from Ramirez, Brill and Ohlhausen further added:
“Contrary to recent press reports, the commission’s decision on the search allegations was in accord with the recommendations of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, Bureau of Economics, and Office of General Counsel.”
The commissioners additionally noted the Wall Street Journal article gave a deceptive story scrutinizing the integrity of the FTC’s examination.
Image Source: Shoe Bat