One day after becoming the target of an FTC antitrust investigation
, Google is publicly making its case for why it’s simply looking out for its users and not breaking federal law.
“Yesterday, we received formal notification from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that it has begun a review of our business,” Google Fellow and head of the search ranking team Amit Singhal said in a blog post
. “We respect the FTC’s process and will be working with them (as we have with other agencies) over the coming months to answer questions about Google and our services.”
Yesterday we learned that the FTC intended to launch a probe of Google’s business practices. It seems as if the FTC will be focusing on whether Google uses its overwhelming dominance in search to drive clicks to its products and lock out competitors. Companies such as Yelp, Expedia and Microsoft have complained
that Google is engaging in antitrust practices.
In the post, Google argues that it’s only making decisions and developing products based on what is best for the user. “It’s still unclear exactly what the FTC’s concerns are, but we’re clear about where we stand. Since the beginning, we have been guided by the idea that, if we focus on the user, all else will follow,” Singhal said. He elaborated further, explaining that Google has been building a model “that has helped change the way people find answers,” all for free. The company also emphasized that using Google is a choice, and that there are other alternatives.
“Using Google is a choice—and there are lots of other choices available to you for getting information: other general-interest search engines, specialized search engines, direct navigation to websites, mobile applications, social networks, and more.”
Google has had its share of encounters with the FTC over Google Buzz
and some of its acquisitions. This investigation though is more encompassing and reminds us of United States vs. Microsoft
, the famous Microsoft antitrust investigation of the late 1990s. Google faces a similar antitrust investigation in Europe