Roads not taken : The Federal Trade Commission and Google

In recent years, a significant and growing body of observers has hammered the US antitrust agencies for weak enforcement. In particular, an avalanche of articles, blog posts, books, speeches, and tweets has buried the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) for failing to challenge mergers and abusive practices by leading tech firms. Prominent exhibits in the indictment of modern US federal antitrust enforcement policy are several decisions taken by the FTC regarding Google in the past fifteen years. In 2007, Google purchased DoubleClick, and in 2009 the company bought AdMob. The FTC reviewed both transactions and challenged neither. In January 2013, the Commission closed a high-profile investigation of Google’s search practices (“Google Search”). With

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