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No Reversal of Fortune for Google’s Opponents

We all remember the movie “Reversal of Fortune” that retells the real life story of Claus von Bulow, accused of attempting to kill his super-wealthy wife. When the movie begins life looks extremely bleak for Claus – he has been convicted of murder, the factual evidence seems compelling and he seems like a wholly unsavory character. Yet Alan Dershowitz arrives on the scene, and although he believes Claus is guilty, he finds new legal avenues, undermines the key evidence, and reverses the conviction.

Google’s opponents probably feel like Claus with the news that the decision in the ongoing Federal Trade Commission antitrust investigation has been delayed. The FTC seemed poised to close [...]

Google Foes Must Admit Defeat on Antitrust Case

The press is reporting that FairSearch and the other Google opponents have trotted down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Department of Justice Antitrust Division asking them to take over the antitrust investigation of search now that the Federal Trade Commission is poised to close its investigation.

Although it’s Christmas time and we all like Christmas shopping, this is the wrong type of shopping: forum shopping. This last-ditch effort by Google’s competitors doesn’t make sense and is bad for innovation and consumers. Fortunately there is no way it will work.

In the United States we have the mixed blessing of having two antitrust agencies: the Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division o [...]

What Consumers Want in FTC v. Google

The press is on fire with dozens of stories that the FTC appears poised to sue Google for alleged anticompetitive conduct in search (and the possibility that any case may be settled). There certainly is no lack of well-paid advocates for aggrieved rivals ready to spin claims that Google is the next Microsoft and that FTC action is necessary to open the market to competition. But while these advocates are making a lot of noise, consumers are almost entirely silent. Indeed, unlike almost all of the recent antitrust wars such as the AT&T/T-Mobile and Ticketmaster/LiveNation mergers, or even the DOJ case against Microsoft, in which there was a groundswell of consumer opposition that spurred the [...]

USING ANTITRUST ENFORCEMENT PRUDENTLY IN HIGH-TECH MARKETS — The Flaws of a Potential Antitrust Case Against Google

Many opponents of Google’s business practices have trotted out the United States v. Microsoft decision and declared with beguiling simplicity that Google is the next Microsoft. They have suggested that the government’s case against Microsoft ten years ago provides a roadmap for a similar enforcement action against Google. To them, all you have to do to find an antitrust violation is calculate a few market shares, assemble a chorus of complaints from rivals, pull out the D.C. Circuit’s Microsoft decision and declare victory.

They could not be more wrong.

Last June, nearly ten years to the day from the Microsoft holding, Google announced that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is cond [...]

Nokia and Microsoft Alliance Raises Significant Competition Concerns

When competitors form a truce, consumers need to worry because often they find ways to make consumers pay more by cutting off competition. Nowhere is that a more big-ticket concern than an alliance between Nokia and Microsoft, waging a potential patent war on their smart phone rivals and potentially costing consumers millions of dollars in higher smart phone prices. Both companies recognize they have been losing the battle for smart phone dominance, as products like Apple’s iPhone and open source operating systems like Google’s Android continue to prevail.

With the knowledge they cannot succeed based on fair competition, Microsoft and Nokia have turned to patent enforcement as a means of dri [...]

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