Berin Szoka Questions FairSearch.org’s Criticisms of Google (17:44)

Posted on by Abby Johnson |

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WebProNews recently spoke with Ben Hammer of FairSearch.org about why the organization believes Google has monopoly power. After the interview, we also reached out to Berin Szoka, the President of free market think-tank TechFreedom, to get another perspective on the issues at hand.

According to Szoka, even though FairSearch may raise some valid points, you have to be “skeptical” when dealing with policy and antitrust.

“We have to be skeptical any time that competitors are using a regulatory process to try to compete,” he said. “Moreoever, we should be worried not just about Google because, obviously, they are big boys and can take care of themselves, but really about the next Google.”

He went on to explain that FairSearch’s argument against Google is based mostly on bias. However, based on research from Josh Wright, also of TechFreedom, if bias is a problem, and it’s not been determined that it is, Microsoft’s Bing shows much more bias than Google does.

Szoka told us that, if bias is the only way that distinguishes what is and what isn’t competition, there is a problem. Instead, he thinks the analysis should look at whether or not consumers are harmed, and, at this point, he said the complainants have primarily been Microsoft and companies that are a part of FairSearch.

While TechFreedom defends Google on this matter, Szoka told us that the organization’s overall goal was to prevent government intervention.

“In general, competition [and] innovation do a much better job of protecting consumers than government does,” he said.

In response to FairSearch’s complaints against it, a Google spokesperson sent us this statement:

“Most people understand that Microsoft and our other competitors complain constantly about Google, but they also know that Google builds our search results for users, not websites, and that the laws are designed to protect consumers, not competitors.  The fundamental openness of the Internet means that consumers have infinite choices and can always switch to Bing, Facebook, Kayak, or Expedia with just one click.”

Does Google show a bias in its search results, or is FairSearch making inaccurate claims? What do you think?

Posted in: Legal, Search Engines, SEO
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