updated 12:55 pm EDT, Wed May 13, 2009
FTC head sides with Google
The new chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, Jon Leibowitz, is sympathetic to Google despite the government body's investigation into antitrust concerns, a CSPAN interview has uncovered. While Google "certainly has a dominant position in search advertising," argues Leibowitz, "just having a dominant position doesn't in any way violate the law." Problems only arise when a company moves to exclude other competitors, as Microsoft did with Windows and Internet Explorer in the 1990s, according to the FTC head.
"If you get to a dominant position or a monopoly position by virtue of your own acumen, that's really the American way. We want to see that," he says. "I certainly don't see Google as abusing its power right now, no. And also it's brought many benefits to consumers."
The FTC has however been probing into whether ties are too close between the directorates of Google and Apple. Google CEO Eric Schmidt also sits on the Apple board, while Genentech CEO Arthur Levinson has a position with both of the other companies. Apple and Google are increasingly venturing into similar territory, producing technology such as web browsers, smartphone operating systems and paid digital videos.