The Obama Administration's choice for Republican commissioner
for the Federal Trade Commission should sit well with Google, whose search and
ad practices have been under scrutiny by the FTC.
Joshua Wright, a George Mason University professor whose
nomination was sent to the Senate on Tuesday for confirmation, was co-author of
a paper in 2011, "Google and the Limits of Antitrust: The Case Against the
Case Against Google."
In the paper, Wright and his co-author argue that "much
has changed in the monopolization law landscape since the watershed Microsoft decision
over a decade ago," and that "contemporary monopolization enforcement
in the US is focused substantially on innovative companies in high-tech
industries, creating substantial concerns that antitrust error in the form of
successful interventions against pro-competitive innovations and business
practices will hinder economic growth."
Google has been under antitrust scrutiny for its dominance
in search and allegations it favors its own content, something
Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt has denied. He has also suggested
in a Hill hearing that Google was a different company from the one a decade
ago that drew the government's attention -- he did not say 'Microsoft,"
but did not have to. He said Google was a different company and should be
treated as such.