PROPOSED REMEDIES FOR SEARCH BIAS:
“SEARCH NEUTRALITY” AND
OTHER PROPOSALS IN THE GOOGLE INQUIRYMarvin Ammori and Luke Pelican
Google is currently the subject of high-profile antitrust scrutiny by the FederalTrade Commission (FTC), the European Commission (EU), and other regulators. At theheart of this scru
tiny is Google’s competitors’ claim of “search bias”—
that Googlemanipulates Google Search results to penalize competitors or to privilege other Google
products and features. In light of these antitrust inquiries, Google’s competitors have
publicly proposed more than a dozen remedies for agencies to pursue.
This article evaluates these proposed remedies, with a focus on the FTC’s
investigation in the United States. The remedies can be evaluated now because Google
scomplaining competitors have had considerable opportunity to provide details ofworkable remedies. Microsoft, Expedia, Foundem, and a host of other companies haveformed coalitions devoted to pursuing an antitrust investigation, called FairSearch inthe United States and Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace (ICOMP) inEurope.
These coalitions have issued several white papers, sections of which propose alarge number of remedies.
Their consultants have also elaborated on these remediesand proposed others.
The executives of Google’s c
omplaining competitors testified at a
Marvin Ammori and Luke Pelican manage the Ammori Group, a law firm andInternet-law consulting practice whose clients include Google Inc. Mr. Ammori spentyears as a faculty member at the University of Nebraska, where he cofounded its world-leading Space, Cyber, and Telecom Law program, supported by US Strategic Commandand the US Air Force. He has published articles in law journals at Harvard, Michigan,Wisconsin, Missouri, Catholic, Regent, and elsewhere. Mr. Pelican has a JD from theUniversity of Michigan Law School and an LLM from the University of NebraskaSchool of Law.