Think Tank Warns of Google’s ‘Monopoly Power,’ Calls for FTC to Take Action on Internet Giant

Aug 31, 2011  •  Post A Comment

A think tank better known for arguing against government control in the media space is calling for increased scrutiny over Google by the Federal Trade Commission, Multichannel News reports.

The Media Institute, an independent First Amendment think tank, told the FTC in a white paper that the government will have to do something to ease the threat posed to competitors by Google’s dominance in Internet search and advertising.

"Google dominates the online advertising market … by skimming away the earnings of media companies as it scrapes up their content, denying them of the scale that would be required for effective competition with the gatekeeper to the Internet,” the organization says in the white paper.

The story adds: “Despite being able to turn the search spigot on and off at will, says the paper, giving content creators little choice but to participate or face a low search ranking that could mean ‘invisibility,’ Google faces no government check on that power. ‘[U]nlike many of its competitors — which Washington agencies like the FCC monitor and which comply with important rules regulating their behavior — Google faces no similar regulation in building valuable media- related properties out of its competitors’ content.’"

According to the white paper: "Despite its stated values to the contrary, Google has shown a willingness to exercise its monopoly power to the detriment of media companies, publishers, and journalists."

The paper urges the FTC to "take action to prevent this result," but stops short of detailing a remedy, the story says.

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