A very interesting article in the Times about how Google avoided FTC enforcement, with this interesting bit from Herb Hovenkamp.
“The way they managed to escape it is through a barrage of not only political officials but also academics aligned against doing very much in this particular case,” said Herbert Hovenkamp, a professor of antitrust law at the University of Iowa who has worked as a paid adviser to Google in the past. “The first sign of a bad antitrust case is lack of consumer harm, and there just was not any consumer harm emerging in this very long investigation.”
Indeed, one of the academics that received funding from Google is now on the FTC as a Commissioner–my former Professor Josh Wright (congratulations Josh!). Wright will recuse himself from all cases involving Google for two years.
Looks like Google’s strategy worked.