The hoopla over the FTC investigation of Google frames one of the most important questions for consumers: Does Google hardwire search results?
Google’s explanation for this has gone all over the map over several years. Eric Schmidt denied that Google cooked the books in his testimony before the US Senate Antitrust Subcommittee (that the Senators did not believe); Google lawyer Jon Jacobsen denied that there is any (known) evidence to suggest bias); Marissa Mayer exclaimed that “it’s only fair!” for Google to promote their own services over others; and Google has consistently made legalistic statements that even if they do it, they have no legal obligation to assist rivals anyway, so it’s all perfectly legal.
We have said for years that it seems apparent that Google has hard wired YouTube search results above all others and extended its monopoly from search to video search by illegally subsidizing YouTube with Google’s monopoly profits from advertising–including advertising sold on pirate web sites.
Like Orwell’s Minitrue, Google would have you believe that SEARCH IS NEUTRAL, which has to go right up there with other half baked monstrations like WAR IS PEACE and especially IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.
After a two-year investigation, the FTC has a pretty good idea of the answer and the public deserves to be told. Up or down, right or wrong, the FTC is the best bet that the American consumer has to know exactly what is going on under the hood at Google.
An uninformed consumer cannot drive competitive markets. The FTC has the power to either leave them in the dark (which is where Google likes them) or inform consumers through evidence trial and testimony under oath. Ignorance is not strength, and Google should not be allowed to make the FTC an accomplice in their deception.
It’s time to come clean. It’s time for transparency.
It’s time to bring this case to trial.