Lee Reacts to the FTC's Ruling on Google Antitrust Probe

January 3, 2013

WASHINGTON—Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), the top Republican on the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee, issued the following statement today on the Federal Trade Commission's announcement on its antitrust probe of Google.

“As a consequence of the FTC’s investigation, Google has agreed both to settle allegations it misused patents to impede competition in high-tech markets and to change some problematic practices relating to its Internet search and advertising businesses.

“Google’s commitment to allow advertisers to export ad campaign data to other platforms will enhance meaningful competition in the market for Internet advertising.  And Google’s promise not to misappropriate content from other websites will help ensure the company does not abuse its dominant position to inhibit competition among vertical search sites.  Along with the FTC, our Subcommittee will seek to make certain that Google abides by these commonsense commitments.

“Although these voluntary actions represent an important step in the right direction, today’s agreement does not address all the concerns about anticompetitive conduct raised at our Subcommittee hearing.  We will continue to work with antitrust authorities to help ensure robust competition in the Internet search arena so that consumer welfare is maximized.

“I am pleased that the FTC took action to help curtail the abuse of standard-essential patents.  A reliable standards-setting process, through which participants promise to license contributed technology on reasonable terms, is essential to interoperability and consumer choice.  I look forward to reviewing the precise contours of the consent order prohibiting Google and its subsidiaries from seeking an injunction or exclusion order against willing licensees, and I remain committed to helping ensure that standard-essential patents are not abused in an anticompetitive manner."