Zoe Lofgren (D-CA, @RepZoeLofgren) and Anna Eshoo (D-PhRMA, @RepAnnaEshoo) add their names to the list of members of Congress telling the FTC to abdicate their responsibility to oversee antitrust activity and just let Google do whatever the heck it wants.
Several weeks ago Jared Polis (D-CO, @JaredPolis) actually threatened to cut the FTC’s funding if they pursued antitrust measures against Google, invoking such mind-altering logic as “I have never heard one of my constituents say that they don’t feel like they have enough choices online.”
This comes at a time when the term of J. Thomas Rosch, the only one of the FTC’s five commissioners to stand up to Google (PDF) and Facebook (PDF) over their privacy violations, has expired. Obama’s appointee to replace Rosch, Joshua Wright, has close ties to Google and opposes any meaningful oversight of the corporate behemoth (for more on this, read Gaius Publius’s excellent rundown at AmericaBlog).
Although caught red-handed, both Google and Facebook were allowed to follow the current corporate fad of denying all liability in their settlements with the FTC. Wright’s replacement of Rosch would mean the FTC will essentially operate as a Google wind-up toy.
If anyone was wondering how it happens that regulatory agencies keep abdicating their oversight of banks and other large corporations, having members of Congress threaten to cut off their funding acts as an enormous incentive.
For those just joining our saga, here once again is what Google’s government-protected monopoly has done to newspaper revenues:
Good to know that as Google continues to cannibalize its competitors both small and large, the Congressional elite will be there to shield them from any meaningful investigation.