Be careful what you wish for

Image representing Eric Schmidt as depicted in...


Google Speaks Truth to Power, and op-ed in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal is worth a read.  Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google and big government supporter suddenly doesn’t seemed so pleased with big government.

Mr. Schmidt had just given his first congressional testimony. He was called before the Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee to answer allegations that Google is a monopolist, a charge the Federal Trade Commission is also investigating.

“So we get hauled in front of the Congress for developing a product that’s free, that serves a billion people. OK? I mean, I don’t know how to say it any clearer,” Mr. Schmidt told the Post. “It’s not like we raised prices. We could lower prices from free to . . . lower than free? You see what I’m saying?”

An absence of consumer harm didn’t stop senators from offering some improbable recommendations. Among them: that Google replace its algorithm with a panel of experts to ensure “fair” search results. As Google tries to improve the relevancy of its search results for consumers, some sites inevitably come up higher and some lower in the results. The losers now lobby Washington.

“Regulation prohibits real innovation, because the regulation essentially defines a path to follow,” Mr. Schmidt said. This “by definition has a bias to the current outcome, because it’s a path for the current outcome.”


2 thoughts on “Be careful what you wish for

  1. Whenever I hear about Congress hauling some corporate executive or steroid-using jock into their dog-and-pony-shows, I think of G.K. Chesterton’s quote: “It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.”

    On the other hand when corporations seek rents and use government as a competitive advantage, they deserve it when the tables are turned.


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