Tech Industry

Congressman to FTC: Don't mess with Google

A Democrat from Colorado pens a letter to the Federal Trade Commission to warn the agency not to go too far with its antitrust probe or there may be "congressional action."

A congressman has told the Federal Trade Commission that it better not do anything to hurt Google's business or Congress might have to step in and reduce the agency's power.

Rep. Jared Polis, a democrat from Colorado, weighed in on the FTC's antitrust probe into the search giant's dominance in the industry -- and the reported lawsuit that may come next -- in a letter sent to the commission last week (see letter below). The agency is looking into whether or not Google is using its dominance to hurt rivals.

Polis said Google provides an important advertising tool for small businesses and it should not be penalized for being successful, particularly in the highly competitive tech industry.

"Competition is only a click away, and there are no barriers to competition; if I created a better search algorithm I could set up a server in my garage and compete globally with Google," he wrote. "To even discuss applying antitrust in this kind of hyper-competitive environment defines all logic and the very underpinnings of antitrust law itself."

He also pointed to debates and backlash around the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act as examples of what happens when "policymakers try to overregulate Internet content.

"I believe that application of antitrust against Google would be a woefully misguided step that would threaten the very integrity of our antitrust system, and could ultimately lead to congressional action resulting in a reduction in the ability of the FTC to enforce critical antitrust protections in industries where markets are being distorted in monopolies or oligopolies," Polis wrote.

See the letter below.

[Via The Hill]