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Samuel Bowman headshot

Founding Editor at Works in Progress

Sam Bowman is a founding editor of Works in Progress. Previously, he was director of competition policy at the ICLE, principal at Fingleton, and executive director of the Adam Smith Institute.

Geoffrey A. Manne headshot

President and Founder

Geoffrey A. Manne is president and founder of the International Center for Law and Economics (ICLE), a nonprofit, nonpartisan research center based in Portland, Oregon. He is also a distinguished fellow at Northwestern University’s Center on Law, Business, and Economics. Previously he taught at Lewis & Clark Law School. Prior to teaching, Manne practiced antitrust law at Latham & Watkins, clerked for Hon. Morris S. Arnold on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, and worked as a research assistant for Judge Richard Posner. He was also once (very briefly) employed by the FTC. Manne holds AB & JD degrees from the University of Chicago.

Antitrust

Antitrust Antitrust Populism Consumer Welfare Standard Data Regulation Innovation Intermediary Liability Monopolization

TL;DR

The DOJ’s Antitrust Case Against Google

Background…

The Department of Justice and a few Republican state attorneys general have filed an antitrust suit against Google. The complaint alleges that Google’s deals with Android smartphone manufacturers, Apple, and third-party browsers to make Google Search their default general search engine are anticompetitive, harming consumers by denying Google’s competitors the scale and data they need to compete.

But… 

The DOJ case will struggle. Nothing in these deals limits the ability of users to switch from Google to another search engine if they want to, and switching is trivially easy. Nor do the deals constrain Android smartphone makers from pre-installing competing search engines alongside Google. In fact, consumers benefit from these deals because they mean lower handset prices and greater incentive for Google to invest in Android. Moreover, the competition among general search engines to secure these default positions isn’t constrained by Google, and that competition should encourage all search providers to invest in their products.

Read the full explainer here.