I have an op-ed up today on Wired discussing the European Commission’s decision to move forward with antitrust action against Google: In Its Antitrust Debacle, Was Google’s Real Victim You?. My answer: maybe.
The Commission’s public statement does a good job of explaining how Google helped itself and hurt its rivals in the comparison-shopping space, but it sidesteps the real issue in the case: whether Google helped or hurt its users. Google hasn’t been entirely aboveboard about how it tweaks its search algorithms. But it’s not clear that any shadiness on Google’s part translates into real consumer harm. Has Google hurt users? Maybe. Has the Commission demonstrated it? No.