Senator Mike Lee (R., Utah) who chairs the Senate antitrust panel, is intending to launch an inquiry on FTC-Google meetings that may have taken place during the time Google was being investigated for antitrust claims. Just a few days ago an FTC document was leaked that painted Google as a monopolist company. This report was filed during the time that Google was under investigation for antitrust violations by the FTC. The insinuation being that during the FTC-Google meetings a deal might have been struck up to brush the charges against Google to the side.
The inquiry comes after The Wall Street Journal reported last week that there was a flurry of meetings involving Google and government officials at important stages of the commission’s investigation into whether the company violated antitrust law.
The company on Monday declined to comment on the Senate development. On Google’s public policy blog Friday, Google’s Rachel Whetstone said the purpose of the company’s meetings with White House officials during the time “were not to discuss the antitrust investigation.”
At a Monday White House press briefing, spokesman Eric Schultz said the FTC is “an independent organization, which makes decisions independently.” As for meetings between Google officials and White House aides, Mr. Schultz said, “We meet with business leaders all the time.”
“Google plainly put a very heavy spin on the results of the FTC’s investigation to downplay the company’s harmful practices,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.), another member of the antitrust panel. “This market clearly deserves exacting and ongoing oversight, and the FTC has a continuing obligation to monitor and investigate.”
We all know large corporations like Google and Apple have hundreds of lobbyists working in Washington trying to persuade the powers that be of their way in whatever agendas they may have. The issue here is if the FTC turned the other cheek in Google’s favor for whatever reason, if they recommended a lawsuit against Google then covered that up, that is a problem. Whatever side of the aisle your politics may lay, I think we can all agree that monopolistic practices need to be dealt with. What do you think of this latest twist in the Google antitrust case? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.
feature image courtesy http://www.corpwatch.org/index.php
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