SANTA MONICA, CA – Consumer Watchdog today called on federal antitrust regulators to block Google’s purchase of Frommer’s travel guides.
“There is a fundamental conflict between being a search provider and a content provider,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project Director. “As Google has increased its content and services, it has unfairly favored them in its search results and damaged competitors.”
A Consumer Watchdog study, Traffic Report: How Google is Squeezing out Competitors and Muscling Into New Markets, demonstrated how Google favors its own products and services in Universal Search. Read the study here: http://insidegoogle.com/2010/06/google-using-search-engine-to-muscle-into-internet-businesses-study-finds-2/
Google is under investigation for antitrust violations by the Federal Trade Commission, European Antitrust authorities, India, Brazil and Texas. “With this deal Google executives are thumbing their noses at these regulators,” said Simpson.
“It makes absolutely no sense to approve this deal,” said Simpson. “And, if it is allowed with conditions, there is absolutely no reason to believe the
Internet giant will live up to it’s word.”
Google has repeated demonstrated it does not honor its promises, Consumer Watchdog said.
“They were just fined a record $22.5 million by the FTC for violating a consent degree and hacking around privacy settings on iPhones, iPads and Apple computers,” said Simpson. “They were lying to consumers about what they were doing.”
The Department of Justice and the FTC alternate on examining acquisitions for antitrust concerns. It’s not clear which agency would vet the Frommer’s deal.
“What’s important,” said Simpson, “is that it’s blocked.
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