Antitrust: Punishing Success

 Posted by on 22 September 2008 at 4:12 pm  Activism, Business, Law
Sep 222008

Jason Crawford published an excellent letter to the editor in the Wall Street Journal on the potential for an antitrust suit against Google:

Microsoft’s general counsel, Brad Smith, says that “if search is the gateway to the Internet . . . this deal [with Yahoo] will put Google in position to own that gateway and the information that flows through it” (“Top Lawyer Is Selected as U.S. Mulls Google Suit,” Marketplace, Sept. 9). Why shouldn’t they own it? They built it. Google is the most popular search engine because of the relevance and speed of its results; it is the dominant advertising platform because ads are more effective there than anywhere else. Google deserves its leading position and the rewards that go with it.

This case, like every other major antitrust case from Standard Oil to Microsoft, aims to punish a winning company for the crime of winning. This is a grave injustice to Google and will only harm the industry in the long run. Why place the ideal of “competition” ahead of the economic productivity that competition is supposed to promote?

It would be far more just, and better for the economy, to simply let the winners win.

Jason Crawford

Great letter, Jason!

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