Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, said Tuesday that evidence is mounting that Google is using its search dominance to favor its own content online.
That came in the wake of an European Commission finding that the company favored Google Shopping over other comparison shopping competitors. The commission also has ongoing investigations into Google, the Android platform and AdSense.
“This significant action by European regulators is the latest in a powerful collection of evidence suggesting Google has repeatedly and consistently abused international competition law,” said Blumenthal in a statement. “Here in the United States, the FTC must confront the mounting evidence that Google is manipulating search results in anticompetitive ways and possibly running afoul of our antitrust laws. The FTC has a duty to investigate and discipline Google for any illegal actions that may have unfairly disadvantaged competitors and limited consumer choice. Our economy – particularly when it comes to the rapidly growing tech sector – needs robust competition to thrive and to ensure consumer protection.”
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As he pointed out Tuesday, Blumenthal has been pushing the FTC to reopen its 2013 probe into the FCC's alleged anticompetitive practices.
The Federal Trade Commission closed an investigation into Google search in 2013, concluding that based on the evidence presented, "Google’s display of its own content could plausibly be viewed as an improvement in the overall quality of Google’s search product. Similarly, we have not found sufficient evidence that Google manipulates its search algorithms to unfairly disadvantage vertical websites that compete with Google-owned vertical properties.
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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