A House Republican has joined a group of lawmakers in a call on regulators to investigate tech giant Google for anti-trust violations.
Indiana Rep. Todd Rokita sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday, calling on the regulators to investigate Google after failing to act on an investigation in 2013.
“These market conditions are in part what prompted European regulators to take action against Google,” Rotika wrote. “It is time for your agencies to reopen reviews of Google to ensure that its business practices comply with the law.”
“It is clear that Google has vast insight and influence into American consumers’ internet activities,” he wrote. “This market dominance creates an often-insurmountable barrier to entry for new innovators who could better serve consumers.”
Google, which conducts almost 90 percent of all internet searches, is currently facing multiple fines in the European Union for violating anti-trust laws, with one fine being about $2.8 billion and the other being $11 billion. (RELATED: Google Could Face Huge Fine In EU For Antitrust Violation)
The FTC conducted an investigation on Google in 2011 after tech companies such as Amazon, Microsoft and Yelp filed complaints to the agency. The FTC’s Bureau of Competition recommended an antitrust lawsuit be filed against Google in 2013, but didn’t possibly due to Google’s lobbying efforts in the Obama administration.
Google is “only superficially” investigated by the antitrust division of the Justice Department, anti-trust lawyer Gary Reback said in a “60 Minutes” interview on May 20. “The government just really isn’t enforcing our antitrust laws,” he said.
Yelp co-founder Jeremy Stoppelman said in the same “60 Minutes” interview that Google crushes small businesses and he wouldn’t be able to found Yelp today because of Google’s alleged anti-competitive behavior.
“If I were starting out today, I would have no shot of building Yelp,” Stoppelman said. “That opportunity has been closed off by Google and their approach.”
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