Protecting Competition vs. Protecting Competitors: Assessing the Antitrust Complaints Against Google
37 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2016
Date Written: May 31, 2016
We examine the merits of competition cases brought against Google with respect to alleged search bias. The four key steps in a structured investigation into an alleged abuse of dominance/monopolization/unfair method of competition are:
1) characterization of the conduct,
2) market definition,
3) assessment of market power, and
4) assessment of competitive effects.
Of these, the last step is the most important as it addresses the ultimate issue in the investigation. We analyse the fourth step and argue that the behaviour at issue is competitive. We then go through the first three steps and show that while economically sound analysis of those steps clarifies the proper answer to the fourth step, an overly mechanistic approach to those steps can obscure clear analysis in the fourth step.
Keywords: antitrust, abuse of dominance, Google
JEL Classification: K21, L40, L41, L86
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation