• http://twitter.com/SeanFlaim Sean Flaim

    In part, that was somewhat due to the nature of the forum you were in.  George Mason is the intellectual home of libertarianism, which tends to advocate less (or no) intervention in the workings of the market.

    I honestly thought Frank Pasquale made one of the more important observations of the day.  As people continue to argue against antitrust intervention in markets, it will increase the demand from people to move from antitrust’s more fluid regulatory tools to more old-fashioned command-and-control regulation.  While libertarians would argue that both types of regulation are bad, one is most certainly not as bad as the other.  Most politicians (and their constituents) want to be protected from the market far in advance of when it fails, rather than afterwards as libertarians would prefer.

    That said, no matter what ones’ leanings are on the matter, a general antitrust case against Google appears weak.  I suspect that any litigation which may be brought will focus on some narrow issues of anti-competive behavior rather than on amorphous concepts like “search neutrality.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jack-N-Fran-Farrell/100002337622505 Jack N Fran Farrell

    Having spent 12 years in Fairfax County, I know that their are many libertarians in the area, some in Congress. Spending money on outside ‘investigators’ will come under scrutiny, wasting lots of bureaucratic time, and more importantly, prestige. Who in the DoJ wants more oversight right now.

  • http://twitter.com/ferkungamaboobo ferkungamabooboo

    I’m not sure it was just Libertarian bias — any review I’ve read of the Microsoft case shows that it doesn’t quite jive with legal precedent in the US (other countries might be different, but I don’t see Apple being forced in the same way in Europe with regard to Safari or iTunes). 

    I’m partial to anti-monopolistic or even -oligopolistic readings of the tech industry: there’s limited barrier to entry, tons of competition (especially in niches), and Google’s acquisitions tend to be tangential rather than directly anti-competitive in search.

    Even advertising isn’t oligopolistic, with most major destination sites like Bing, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn running their own self-serve ads; individual sites probably get higher rates on the whole from personal rather than AdSense advertising.

    I dunno. I wouldn’t blame the bias of the speakers or conference or politicians or bureaucrats, but of the precedent set in this country, especially if arguing in comparison to the EU (who are still having trouble finding much themselves).