What folks are saying about the FTC’s review

Since we announced last Friday that the FTC is reviewing our business practices, there’s been a lot of commentary about what it all means. We thought we’d share just a few of those views.

Search Engine Land’s Greg Sterling wrote:
“...the notion of limiting or regulating what Google can show on its [search results pages] is a bad idea. Antitrust law is not supposed to protect companies from competitors but protect the marketplace in general and consumers in particular. Right now there’s no evidence that Google has harmed consumers. And the booming startup market suggests that innovation hasn’t been adversely affected by Google’s rise.”
Advertisers are weighing in. Covario, a San Diego-based search engine marketing firm, writes:
“Our position then, as it is now, is that there is no antitrust case in paid search due to the way pricing is set in the market for paid search keywords. Google acts as market facilitator, not market enforcer. [...] [Google is] quite transparent when it comes to how they determine Quality Score, and advertisers who do not benefit from this understanding either have not put in the work, or are simply unhappy with the result (they are bidding on irrelevant keywords, which hurts quality score, which raises price – those are the publicized rules of the auction – play or don’t play).”
Antitrust attorney and former FTC official David Balto wrote in Huffington Post:
“The proponents of an antitrust investigation of Googles suggest Google is inhibiting competition by setting up barriers harming consumers. But a close examination of Google's entry into multiple consumer markets illustrates the opposite – that where Google competes, consumers benefit.”
And Tom Lenard and Paul Rubin of the Technology Policy Institute wrote in Forbes:
“While the FTC may know things we don't, there is thus far no evidence in the public domain that Google is guilty of violations similar to those of which Microsoft was convicted a dozen years ago. [...] Google's market position was earned precisely because it found a way of ranking search results that is more useful for consumers, and it will quickly lose that position if someone can find an even better ranking algorithm.”