Experts Warn DOJ’s Bid to Break Google Search Would Hurt Consumers, Stunt Innovation, and Limit Competition

Washington, D.C. (09/13/23) – Since the Department of Justice (DOJ) launched its lawsuit aimed at breaking Google Search, consumer advocates and industry experts have fiercely criticized the DOJ’s case. 

According to experts, the lawsuit, which is just the latest attack by top Biden administration antitrust enforcers DOJ Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan against successful U.S. companies that provide Americans with products they love, would stifle innovation, discourage competition, and hurt consumers.

Here’s what they’re saying. 

Matt Schruers, CCIA:

“US antitrust law does not protect competitors from their competition. It protects the competitive process in order to protect consumers. Here it seems like the government is picking winners and losers…and courts have traditionally rejected that view.”

Former Congresswoman Barbara Comstock:

“…Internet users see Google as the best search engine, and they overwhelmingly prefer it. American consumers’ strong preference for Google’s search engine does not transform this incredibly successful product into an antitrust violation. However, President Joe Biden’s antitrust enforcers claim they know better than consumers. Embracing the government’s viewpoint would transform antitrust law into a protection racket for the government’s preferred businesses…”

Adam Kovacevich, Chamber of Progress:

“…Arguably the most significant thing that’s happened in terms of search has been generative AI and particularly the rise of ChatGPT. And make no doubt about it, ChatGPT is a competitor to Google…The competition that’s been spurred by ChatGPT undercuts the DOJ’s case…That competition leads to more innovation for consumers.…”

Phil Goldberg, Progressive Policy Institute:

“…Kanter has called the consumer welfare standard “a catchphrase, not a standard.”…[But] big is not always bad. A large company is allowed to beat its competition by continually offering innovative products that consumers prefer. Antitrust law should not protect businesses from their more successful competitors, regardless of size. Consumer welfare should be prioritized as a byproduct of healthy competition, not undermined for the mere sake of competition…”

Jessica Melugin, Competitive Enterprise Institute:

“…The aim of U.S. antitrust law should be to protect consumer welfare, but this case instead aims to protect Google’s competitors. If the DOJ is successful, it will be to the detriment of customers. Government putting its thumb on the competition scale might benefit search competitors like Bing and DuckDuckGo, but the DOJ is supposed to be looking out for consumers, not picking winners and losers in the marketplace…”

David McGarry, Taxpayers Protection Alliance:

“…The DOJ has embarked on an unholy crusade to reshape tech markets and eventually the entire economy. Such efforts end invariably in limited consumer choice, high prices, and stunted innovation. The American tech sector, conceived in liberty, has proven indispensable to the country’s continued economic dominance. Meanwhile, would-be technocrats stateside need only study Europe’s technological stagnation to understand the economically stifling effects of hyperregulation…”

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