An independent consumer group will today call on the Department of Justice to consider breaking Google up because of uncompetitive practices.
Consumer Watchdog says the $23 billion corporation, which holds more than 70 percent of the search market, has a stranglehold on the market.
“For most Americans, indeed for most people in the world, Google is the gateway to the Internet. How it tweaks search algorithms can ensure a business’s success or doom it to failure,” says its consumer advocate John Simpson.
“Google’s business practices actually determine much of the internet experience for most consumers by determining what Websites they view. Yet, Google remains a closed black box offering little insight into how it operates.”
The organisation also Google for pumping huge amounts of money into lobbying Washington, with its spending rising 57 percent over last year.
Lobbying disclosure forms filed with the Senate Office of Public Affairs show Google spent $4.03 million on lobbying in 2009.
“Google is relatively new to the influence-peddling game, but they’re now one of the highest rollers in Washington,” said Simpson. “Google is seeking laws that let the company do whatever it wants in its quest for record profits. If that means record sums on influence-peddling, so be it.”
Google’s business practices are increasingly coming under fire. The DoJ has already raised concerns about the company’s proposed Google Books settlement, and European anit-trust regulators are sniffing about too.