Siding with Google, a lawmaker is warning the Federal Trade Commission that an antitrust lawsuit against the search giant would be "a woefully misguided step."
"As a high-tech entrepreneur and someone who has actually used Google's advertising tools to grow my businesses, I encourage the Commission to tread carefully and not undertake action that would compromise the important service provided by Google, reduce Google's ability to rapidly innovate and improve its products, or make search engine results less useful for consumers or businesses," Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) says in a letter to the FTC.
The commission reportedly is poised to recommend that antitrust charges be brought against Google for allegedly promoting its own services in the search results at the expense of competitors.
Polis questions why the FTC is focusing on search engines, given that "consumers can switch to a new service with just one click.
He adds: "If I created a better search algorithm I could set up a server in my garage and compete globally with Google. To even discuss applying antitrust in this kind of hypercompetitive environment defies all logic."
Separately, a new paper by antitrust expert and former judge Robert Bork warns that an antitrust case wouldn't benefit consumers. "A 'successful prosecution' of Google for its search practices would necessitate regulation of search algorithms and product improvements, which would retard the current pace of innovation in Internet search that has created enormous gains in consumer welfare," the paper says.