Today, NetChoice opposed the State Attorneys General’s antitrust action against Google over its integrated search functions in Google Search. The lawsuit argues that search integration is anticompetitive because, in prioritizing the most useful and relevant information for users to see, it sometimes changes the organic search order.
“This is the latest in a string of misguided lawsuits that threaten the very fabric of competition, innovation, and consumer welfare in digital markets,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel of NetChoice. “Demanding Google stop providing direct answers and relevant information in searches to instead make users go through lists of websites will only degrade the experience and make it harder for consumers to find what they seek.”
“If successful, this lawsuit would make it harder for users to search for answers online and small businesses to reach customers by hiding contact information and facts behind clicks and paywalls,” continued Szabo. “It’s ironic that a lawsuit alleging no consumer harm would actually inflict consumer harm should it succeed.”
“The purpose of antitrust law is to promote innovation, but this lawsuit threatens to send us back to 1998 when search engines returned only ten blue links,” added Szabo. “At a time when businesses are moving more and more of their livelihoods online to survive, consumers cannot afford this blast from the internet’s past.”
“Apparently, Y2K called and wants the internet’s old search engines back.”