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Jones Harbour: FTC Should Address Google Search Bias

Pamela Jones Harbour, a former Federal Trade Commission commissioner, today penned an opinion piece in The New York Times urging the agency to take on Google’s practice of promoting its own products in search results.

Jones Harbour mentioned reports that the FTC might forgo action on Google’s search bias in exchange for “some modest changes in the way it uses certain consumer information.”

“This would be a severe setback for Internet users.”

The rationale for such a change to Google’s practices is the company’s abuse of its dominance, Jones Harbour explained. The search giant control nearly 80 percent of web searches and 98 of mobile searches in the U.S.

“Google is not just an eponymous verb but perhaps the most central conduit of information in the nation — and, indeed, on the planet. No other search engine comes close.”

FairSearch couldn’t agree more. As we said previously, it is vital that the FTC live up to its mission of “protecting America’s consumers” by taking a strong, legally binding enforcement action to permanently end Google’s biased display of search results and other harmful abuses of monopoly power that threaten to reduce consumer choice and innovation in Internet services.