Sen. Blumenthal: FTC Should Confront Google

In the wake of a record $5 billion fine against Google by the EU's European Commission, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) Wednesday (July 18) called on the Federal Trade Commission to ramp up antitrust oversight of the search giant and "end its decade of inaction."

“Once again, the European Commission has found that Google used its dominance to undercut competitors," said Blumenthal. "The unprecedented fine imposed by Europe sends a clear message that Google and other tech companies cannot continue to abuse international competition law. Through its tying of Search and Chrome to the use of Android and its agreements to exclude alternative operating systems, Google has stifled both competition and innovation in the tech sector.”

The EU fine was over what the commission says was illegal restrictions on Android device manufactures and mobile operators in violation of EU antitrust rules. Google vowed to fight the fine, saying the decision threatened the Android business model and insufficently credited the competition it faced from Apple's operating system.

This is the second giant EU fine in as many years, the previous one totaling $2.7 billion.

Blumenthal has likened Google to Microsoft in the days when he was one of the attorneys general who filed suit against the computer giant for protecting its operating system "monopoly," a case the government won.

John Eggerton

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.