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Academic Articles Awards > Economics

The Role for Economic Analysis in the FTC’s Google Investigation

Michael A. Salinger and Robert J. Levinson, Review of Industrial Organization, 2014

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In January 2013, the Federal Trade Commission closed its nineteen month investigation focusing on whether alleged “search bias” by Google violated US antitrust law. According to the FTC’s brief closing statement, the bias allegations were that “Google unfairly preferences its own content on the Google search results page and selectively demotes its competitors’ content from those results.” The closing statement went on to explain that the key finding that convinced the FTC to close its investigation was that Google did not change “its search results primarily to exclude actual or potential competitors.” Instead, it concluded, “The totality of the evidence indicates that, in the main, Google adopted the design changes that the Commission investigated to improve the quality of its search results.”

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