Friday, October 18, 2019

"Google is in serious trouble, warns top anti-trust lawyer" (GOOG)

From ZD Net, October 18:

Google's case is similar to 19 years ago -- when Microsoft was found guilty of exclusionary conduct
Seth Bloom, former general counsel to the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee and former attorney at the Justice Department Antitrust Division, said Google is "in serious trouble" regarding anti-trust scrutiny from many different places.

Bloom said that the Justice Department took over the FTC investigation of Google, which is rare and a sign of the seriousness of the investigation. Plus, 48 states are investigating Google, and there is scrutiny from both Democrats and Republicans. "It's unique to have such scrutiny from both sides," said Bloom.

His remarks were made during a panel discussion organized by the Save Journalism Project -- founded by laid-off reporters. The activist organization blames Google and Facebook for decimating ad revenues for independent newspapers and magazines, resulting in huge numbers of layoffs and endangering a free press.

"Monopolies are not illegal under our antitrust laws, but exclusionary conduct is illegal," he said. US investigators are likely to follow European anti-trust investigations, which resulted in several massive fines totaling more than $9 billion.

Bloom pointed to the success of the EU's investigations that found Google guilty of promoting its own businesses over others, and it received a $5 billion fine....