#yelp

Compelling stuff from Tony Romm for Politico:

To start, Google quickly hired 12 lobbying firms, a decision that contributed to the estimated $25 million the company, along with its purchased subsidiary, Motorola Mobility, accumulated to influence Washington decision makers over the life of the FTC’s probe.

I know this may come as a shock to some of you, but I’m mainly on Google’s side here and I think the FTC was right not to go down the antitrust road — at least not yet. Google wins search because it’s the best at it. I think companies like Yelp have some legitimate gripes. But others like Microsoft, which has its own search engine, should compete by making a better product, not by hoping the government goes after Google.

Also, this is hardly the last we’re going to hear of this. Just because the FTC isn’t pursuing antitrust action against Google right now, it doesn’t mean they can’t in six months or a year or two years. This will all be looked into again and again and again. And it should be, as Google keeps getting into more and more businesses. Their search monopoly is legit, but it shouldn’t be allowed to unnaturally bolster other products that aren’t worthy — cough Google+ cough.