Lemieux Defends Google
By David Henderson
Antitrust arguments are especially unpersuasive in fluid and innovative high-tech markets. Google did not even exist 20 years ago. In the late 1990s, the dominant search engine was Alta Vista. Veronica, another major Internet search engine, had just recently gone out of fashion. The U.S. Department of Justice sued Microsoft for antitrust violations in 1998, the very year Google was founded. Before that, IBM spent 13 years fighting antitrust action by the U.S. government; the case was dropped in 1982, about the time personal computers were starting to challenge Big Blue’s dominant position. The antitrust authorities are usually one battle behind. Today, many competitors, such as social networks–most notably Facebook–challenge Google’s position. (Google tried to compete against Facebook with Google+, but obviously failed.)
This is an excerpt from Pierre Lemieux, “In Defense of Google,” one of this month’s two Feature Articles. Pierre shows that the latest European Commission charge against Google “reveals the poverty of the standard antirust doctrine.”
I highly recommend reading the whole thing.