Google’s competitors have repeatedly cataloged the company’s efforts to use its sheer size and influence to dominate markets and squeeze them out. That behavior has landed Google in the cross-hairs of U.S. and European antitrust regulators, due in part to lobbying efforts of some of Google’s better known competitors.
The Texas state attorney general is also currently investigating Google for complaints that it has arbitrarily given its own products and services priority over those of its competitors in search rankings.
During the summer of 2011, the company paid the U.S. Department of Justice $500 million to avoid prosecution on charges that it knowingly sold online advertising to online pharmacies, mostly in Canada, that sold counterfeit medications. Google opposed the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), legislation that caused a global uproar from Internet users but was intended to combat rogue websites that profited from the sale of counterfeit goods online.
Google vehemently opposed SOPA and another related bill on the grounds that it would have forced them to accept responsibility for policing counterfeit and pirated goods.
USA Today also reported in February that Rosetta Stone had caught Google selling “coveted top-of-the-page ad space to more than 1,600 rogue websites peddling fake Rosetta Stone” software.
Google’s track record, despite its best intentions, is far from perfect, and gun owners and retailers are pointing fingers.
“Google’s restrictive policy comes at a time when retailers and other online information resources have increased their content about firearms because of consumer demand,” said Keane. “Fortunately, consumers have other online services to turn to instead of Google for their firearms information.”
Google declined the Daily Caller’s request for comment.