Panel on Is Google Monopolizing Something, and If So, What?
Last June, Christine Varney, then a lawyer in private practice, now President Obama’s nominee to be the next Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, warned that Google, not Microsoft, is the monopolist of the future.
“For me, Microsoft is so last century. They are not the problem,” Varney said at a June 19 panel discussion sponsored by the American Antitrust Institute. The U.S. economy will “continually see a problem — potentially with Google” because it already “has acquired a monopoly in Internet online advertising.” Concerns of this nature ultimately led Tom Barnett, the last Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, to threaten a Sherman Act monopolization lawsuit if Google went through with plans to buy Yahoo.
Google, on the other hand, contends that the concerns are completely misplaced. “The nature of the Internet is just a fundamentally different world from the sale of packaged software or the bundling of software with OEMs (original equipment manufacturers),” according to Kent Walker, Google’s General Counsel. “The standard line we have is that competition is just one click away.