This article was not a surprise, but it was a disturbing realization for business owners who can’t afford to pay for an exclusive deal to appear on the first page of Google search engine. Google is accused of bumping businesses down the search engine and pushing the company’s who have exclusivity deals or partnerships. FTC should show concern because capitalism and monopolizing are being intertwined and businesses and consumers will pay the ultimate price.
Google abused its monopoly power in ways that harmed Internet users and competitors. That was the conclusion drawn by experts at a federal regulatory agency back in 2012, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Google, however, avoided a massive antitrust fight because the Federal Trade Commission didn’t pursue a legal fight based on those findings.
Back in 2013, the FTC wrapped up a two-year investigation into the company’s online monopoly power and it looked odd when Google got away relatively unscathed.
Unlike European regulators, all five FTC commissioners decided to not sue.
But on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal revealed that FTC investigators did indeed conclude that Google abused its monopoly power. FTC staff found proof that Google used anticompetitive tactics that hurt competitors like Yelp and TripAdvisor, according to secret internal documents obtained by the Journal.
The FTC’s decision not to sue Google contradicted those findings.
The staff did find that Google (GOOG) posed “real harm to consumers and to innovation.” However, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz affirmed at a press conference that Google “doesn’t violate the American antitrust laws.”
In reality, the FTC likely didn’t pursue a legal fight because it was going to be a tough case. After all, it had to be able to prove that Google was a monopoly power that was not only harming competition but also the public. Google was popular with the public, which could easily choose to use competitors that were just a click away like Yahoo (YHOO, Tech30) and Bing.