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Op-ed Placement

Google Alert: The Government Is After You

Originally Published in The Washington Times on 4/24/16.

Last week the bureau-thugs at the European Union declared war on Google. Europe can’t compete with Google so instead Brussels will sue them for being too successful. Now the U.S. government is threatening the same string of harassment, lawsuits and fines.

That’s the basis for the EU’s just-announced antitrust complaint against Google. The California-based technology giant is accused of installing into the popular Android smartphone software that favors Google features, such as Google Maps over competitor products.

“Our concern,” complains Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s antitrust chief, “is that by requiring phone makers and operators to preload a set of Google apps, Google may have cut off one of the main ways that new apps can reach customers.” That’s ridiculous because it was largely Google technology that made apps work on smart phones in the first place.

The heart of the complaint is the longstanding and controversial issue of a company “bundling” its technology products to favor a firm’s own services over those of competitors. So now the EU wants to force Google to offer its competitors’ products on the Android phone. Next thing you know, McDonald’s is going to be slapped with an antitrust complaint for not offering Wendy’s fries.

But if we cut through the EU’s 19th century antitrust mumbo jumbo, this is nothing more than a raid on Google’s profits and products and market share which is said to be too “dominant.” The same might be said of this year’s Golden State Warriors.