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September 2012 Policy Study, Number 12-10


The Federal Trade Commission’s Investigation of Google





Search is a part of the fast moving, high-tech world. Everything we know about government regulation tells us that the quality of searches would get worse, not better, if government regulated them.[22] Government is inevitably fighting the last war, basing its actions on what they know, which, by definition, is what happened yesterday. Only the gurus of high-tech — savvy techies and an occasional high-rolling investor — have even an inkling of what will come next. Regulators can be excused for not having a clue where high-tech will go tomorrow. But they cannot be excused for trying to control where it will go.[23]


In the search business today there is neither market failure nor consumer harm — and even if there were, the market would solve the problem long before government regulators, or the rest of us, could figure out what was wrong or how to fix it.




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