FairSearch - for the right result

Austin American-Statesman: Lynch: States should protect consumers from Google's abuse of power online

Former Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch writes a must-read op-ed in today’s Austin American-Statesman, in which he urges his former colleagues “on the front lines of consumer protection” to take a close look at Google’s abuse of power online:

Protecting consumers, especially from abuses on the Internet, is a primary responsibility of today’s Attorney General, especially as Main Street disappears and migrates online. And that’s only appropriate. There’s never been closer cooperation between the state Attorneys General and the U.S. Justice Department, much to its credit.

What has Google’s response been to these concerns about its behavior? In a novel legal defense against charges of anti-competitive conduct by shopping site MyTriggers.com, the Internet behemoth has argued in an Ohio state filing that federal law precludes the states from enforcing antitrust law over the Internet.

Which makes you think: What does Google really have to hide? If, as the company claims, it’s all about openness and transparency and doing what’s best for Internet users, why not respond to requests from the states for information about its behavior in the market?

Lynch, a past president of the National Association of Attorneys General and a consultant to Expedia, cites the recent DOJ ruling on ITA Software and commends the leadership of Texas AG Greg Abbott and Missouri AG Chris Koster. His piece can be found in its entirety here.