GEOFFREY MANNE ON PROPOSED ACTIONS AGAINST GOOGLE IN THE WASHINGTON POST
Geoffrey Manne was quoted in the Washington Post on the idea that Yelp might push for antitrust actions against Google in the US, similar to what led to a record $2.7 billion fine in the EU.
Key federal officials, such as Acting FTC Chairwoman Maureen Ohlhausen, were part of a group that chose to end an agency investigation into Google five years ago. And Makan Delrahim, Trump’s Justice Department nominee for antitrust issues, is viewed by analysts as an independent professional who is unlikely to bow to outside pressure.
Still, some of the same companies that pushed for European antitrust action could launch a similar campaign in the United States. “We are going to leave all options on the table,” said Luther Lowe, vice president of public policy at Yelp, which played a major role in lobbying against Google at the European Commission.
Should Yelp push for U.S. regulators to act, there is no guarantee that they will. Even if they do, the resulting investigation may not necessarily lead to an enforcement action, and any enforcement action would need to pass muster with a judge, said Geoffrey Manne, executive director of the International Center for Law and Economics, which is partly funded by Google. “Unless you can convince a court, you’re stuck,” said Manne.