In a rare moment of bipartisanship, Attorneys General from 48 states have joined forces to determine if Google has been violating anti-trust laws.
The tech conglomerate garners a large share of the search engine market and produces many other high-end tech products.
It is no secret that the company is biased against conservatives. It was recently reported that Google manipulated its search algorithm in 2016 with the goal of helping Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
In 2017, a Google employee was fired for writing an internal memo titled, “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.” In it, Google employee James Damore alleged that “Google’s management goes to extreme—and illegal—lengths to encourage hiring managers to take protected categories such as race and/or gender into consideration as determinative hiring factors, to the detriment of Caucasian and male employees and potential employees at Google.”
Damore also had the audacity to write that there are differences between male and female workers that make it more likely that males are more predisposed to work in the tech industry.
Probe Into Google’s Marketing Power
The Daily Caller reported that Attorneys General from 48 states announced that they were opening an antitrust probe into Google and its efforts to curtail market competition.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is leading the charge.
He told the Daily Caller that “It’s really compelling that you have the interest of virtually the entire nation coming from different perspectives…with their own different concerns about consumers. It’s creating international interest.
“Everybody thinks the internet is free, and it’s not. When you have one player so dominant in the search engine, advertising market…it’s like a real estate transaction. [Google represents] the buyers, they’re on the seller side, they’re the auctioneer, and they control the video platform that a lot of people use.”
Paxton went on to say, “The goal of the Google investigation, he said, is to “have an open, fair, and free market. If that’s what’s going on with Google, then fine. But if they’re acting in a way that disincentives competition and forces people out unfairly, that’s a problem.”
This is a good day for federalism in the United States. The states are getting together and proving that not every problem needs to be solved in Washington D.C.
The states were designed to be co-equal partners with the federal government. Clearly, that has become a lost art, but this investigation is a step in the right direction.
The investigation will determine the extent to which tech companies can hold market power. It is the age-old question of the lawfulness of monopolies: When is it illegal for a company to have too much market power?
There are antitrust laws on the book that are meant to prevent corporations from obtaining too much market power and from keeping other companies from entering the market by creating barriers to entry.
This question has been debated since the times of Carnegie and the Rockefellers. Microsoft suffered a blow in the courts in the 1990s after it was determined they had too much market power.
It is a recurring issue, especially in today’s’ era of big tech. It is a relatively new industry in the grand scheme of things and regulators are still trying to figure out how to treat tech companies.
The states intend to answer that question.