Consumer Watchdog Welcomes EU Antitrust Probe of Google; Calls On U.S. Justice Department To Launch Investigation

Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Consumer Watchdog Welcomes EU Antitrust Probe of Google; Calls On U.S. Justice Department To Launch Investigation
    Google’s Anticompetitive Tactics Will Be Topic At Group’s Conference Wednesday

    WASHINGTON — Consumer Watchdog today welcomed the European Union’s antitrust investigation of Google and reiterated its call for the the U.S. Justice Department to launch its own investigation of the Internet giant.

    Google’s monopolistic practices will be discussed at 11:30 am tomorrow (Dec. 1) during Consumer Watchdog’s conference, “The Future of Online Consumer Protections,” at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The panel, “Competition and antitrust issues on the Internet,” will feature Gary Reback of Counsel, Carr & Ferrell LLP; Scott Cleland, President, Precursor LLc; and Melanie Sabo, Assistant Director for Anticompetitive Practices, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission.

    “It’s long been clear that Google unfairly uses its dominance in search to benefit its own services,” said John M. Simpson, director of Consumer Watchdog’s Inside Google project. “I’m pleased with the European announcement, but this is a U.S. company and it is past time for our authorities to act decisively.”

    Consumer Watchdog called on the Justice Department to launch an antitrust investigation of Google in April. In June Consumer Watchdog issued a report showing how Google uses its dominant position in online search to muscle its way into other Internet businesses, ultimately limiting consumer choice.

    Read a copy of the study, “Traffic Report: How Google is Squeezing out Competitors and Muscling Into New Markets” here:

    Also at Wednesday’s conference, FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection Director David Vladeck will discuss a soon-to-be-released FTC report on online privacy and establishing an online “Do Not Track Me” list in an 8:45 am keynote speech.

    At 1 pm the Department of Commerce’s Associate Administrator for  National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Daniel Weitzner will speak. Commerce is also on the verge of releasing a report on online privacy protections.

    Other panels will discuss: Protecting consumers while they surf the Web: How “Do Not Track Me” would work and other ideas; Protecting electronic health records and ensuring safeguards in the online medical marketing era; and The Internet’s impact on creative arts.

    Consumer Watchdog has been working to protect consumers’ online privacy rights and educate them about the issues through its Inside Google Project. The goal has been to convince Google of the social and economic importance of giving consumers control over their online lives. By persuading Google, the Internet’s leading company, to adopt adequate guarantees, its policies could become the gold standard for privacy for the industry, potentially improving the performance of the entire online sector.

    Read the conference agenda here:

    Consumer Watchdog, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization with offices in Washington, DC and Santa Monica, CA.  Consumer Watchdog’s website is Visit our new Google Privacy and Accountability Project website:

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    This post was written by:

    John M. Simpson

    - who has written 414 posts on Inside Google.

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