Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), one of the longest and strongest critics of Big Tech, has called on the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold hearings on what he suggested was the Obama Federal Trade Commission's love affair with Google.
The FTC has long gotten criticism for its decision not to sue Google following an investigation into whether it was using its dominance in search anticompetitively. That was in contrast to Google's treatment by the European Union.
Hawley's renewed interest in putting Google under the magnifying glass in Washington was related to a story in Politico about the FTC's failure to find antitrust issues with Google at a "critical moment' in that company's rise to search dominance.
In 2013, the FTC closed its antitrust investigation into Google concluding there was insufficient evidence to conclude that the company "unfairly preferences its own content on the Google search results page and selectively demotes its competitors’ content from those results" and that Google's placement of its own content at or near the top of search results "could plausibly be viewed as an improvement in the overall quality of Google’s search product" attributable to algorithmic changes that could also be plausibly viewed as improvements.
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