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Poll Finds Public Supports FTC Google Probe

Today, FairSearch is releasing the results of a poll designed and fielded by The Tarrance Group, and commissioned by FairSearch, that found voters, including self-identified conservatives, support investigating allegations that Google has violated antitrust and consumer protection laws.

The findings show that when consumers learn more about Google’s dominant market position, they overwhelmingly categorize the search giant as a monopoly.  Additional findings include:

  • That 78% of voters across the country indicate that they support the current investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission regarding allegations that Google has violated antitrust and consumer protection laws.
  • Only 16% of voters oppose this investigation. And 69% of self-identified conservatives indicated that they support this investigation.
  • Furthermore, 72% of voters believe that U.S. law enforcement should follow suit and take action if the European Commission finds that Google engaged in anticompetitive practices violating the law.  Of conservatives, 64% agreed that the FTC should take action if the European Commission acts.

The poll results demonstrate public support for continued investigation of antitrust issues by European Commission and the FTC. Joaquín Almunia, Vice President of the European Commission outlined four areas of concern, namely, how Google promotes its own services over others in search results; “scrapes” content from other websites; engages in anti-competitive advertising agreements; and restricts advertisers from moving campaigns to rival advertising platforms. More recently, Almunia indicated he was concerned that Google’s mobile services may also be violating EU competition and consumer protection laws.

For the web and online commerce to continue to grow and thrive, these issues must be addressed by meaningful, enforceable measures to restore competition. And just don’t take our word for it; there are many real-world stories of Google’s practices undermining the work of entrepreneurs.

Tim Carter, a former home remodeler turned Internet publisher, worked closely with Google for years, only to see an overnight change to the company’s search algorithm dramatically reduce by half traffic to his site, www.AskTheBuilder.com, without explanation. Google asked him to testify on its behalf at U.S. House and Senate congressional hearings on competition on the Internet in 2008 (you can see Tim’s testimony by clicking here), and to this day Google features Tim in an AdSense case study.  You can learn more about his story in this video.

Tim Carter, AsktheBuilder.com from FairSearch.org on Vimeo.

On Sept. 13, FairSearch is holding an event, “Searching for Innovation and Online Competition,” in Washington, D.C. at the Newseum, where experts in antitrust law and technology executives will examine the important questions under review by the FTC and EC.