Google, a search company, fired back today at a string of reports published in the Wall Street Journal over the past few weeks that have brought the company and its business practices under scrutiny.
The collection of pieces implied that Google has decision-tilting influence in the federal government, and that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) all but went against its own internal views of Google’s alleged anticompetitive behavior by not deciding to pursue legal action against the search company several years ago.
The FTC responded previously. Today Google followed suit.
The now-dated case against Google came back to the forefront of technology news when the government accidentally leaked — by its own admission — part of an internal document this month arguing that the company had “unlawfully maintained its monopoly over general search” through several tactics. When the final decision in the proceeding was reached and announced in January of 2013, Google agreed to voluntary changes to some of its business practices. The FTC moved on.
Google, with a combination of sarcasm and moving-picture images, argued today that the FTC’s final vote and decision on its various “search allegations” were “in accord with the recommendations of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, Bureau of Economics, and Office of General Counsel,” and that those recommendations were not, as the Journal published, “in contrast to the conclusion of the FTC’s commissioners.”
The search giant also argued that the Journal overestimated the number of meetings that it had at the White House by counting former employees as active, among other corrections. The company then argued that Microsoft had more meetings at the White House in the selected time period than Google, implying that it does not hold any undue influence inside the government.
For a wink, here’s how Google opens its missive:
Last year Robert Thomson, CEO of News Corp [Parent company to the Wall Street Journal], accused Google of creating a “less informed, more vexatious level of dialogue in our society.” Given the tone of some of your publications, that made quite a few people chuckle.
That’s enough shade for a picnic.
You can wargame in your mind as much as you want as to why the Journal is going after Google and the FTC, but it seems for now that when it comes to a particular bout of wrestling, the technology company is the happier pig.
Also let’s make a new rule: When your company is nearly old enough to buy cigarettes, lay off the gifs.