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Google's Dominance of Media Economy Could
Foreclose Competition, Media Institute Warns in
Comments to Federal Trade Commission
FOR RELEASE: Aug. 31, 2011
Contact: Richard T. Kaplar
The Media Institute
Arlington, Va., Aug. 31, 2011 – Despite its informal slogan, “Don’t be evil,” Google has shown a willingness to exercise its dominant position in online search to the detriment of media companies, publishers, and journalists.
Without some type of government intervention, the media economy is in significant danger of being dominated by this one entity that stifles innovators and forecloses competition, The Media Institute said today in a white paper filed with the Federal Trade Commission.
The Institute described how Google has used two principal strategies for appropriating the creative content of others for its own gain. The first, exemplified by Google News, takes content from potential competitors to launch new businesses while depriving those competitors of the revenue their original content generates.
The second strategy, exemplified by YouTube and Google Books, is to test legal limits of copyright and, when challenged, to resolve any disputes by further cementing its monopoly.
Google has shown a pattern of misdirecting users to its own webpages, displaying the content of others, and foreclosing competitors from that same aggregated content, the Institute said.
“The question of an appropriate remedy is a complex one that deserves careful consideration and analysis,” the Institute cautioned, while expressing confidence that the FTC “can find an appropriate prospective remedy to protect competition in the media, search, online and mobile markets that have become so essential to the future of our economy and society.”
The Institute’s comments in the form of a white paper are in response to the FTC’s ongoing investigation of Google and its impact on competition.
“One of The Media Institute’s goals is to foster a competitive media and communications industry,” said Institute President Patrick Maines. “The Google situation captures our attention because of its significant effect on competition in a number of key media segments,” he said.
The white paper is available on The Media Institute’s website, mediainstitute.org.