Democracy & Technology Blog False alarm

Tim Doyle at SNL Kagan has discovered that large telecom firms are not under investigation, as the Wall Street Journal reported in July they were for — and this choice of words was a surprise — “abusing the market power they have amassed in recent years.” See this.
Doyle dug deeper and found that the WSJ got it wrong.

Despite a previous report that indicated otherwise, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division has not undertaken an investigation of AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc.
The Department of Justice could not find any records of correspondence between the telecom giants and the Antitrust Division during 2009 regarding their market power and possible abuses of it, according to a Sept. 2 letter SNL Kagan received Sept. 22 in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Doyle’s research confirms that Google isn’t so lucky, unfortunately.

The Antitrust Division did, however, confirm its investigation of Google Inc. in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by SNL Kagan.

Google actually faces some potentially serious competitive threats in its core search business, but these threats tend to be overlooked.
The late Professor Schumpeter counseled that most monopolies are temporary unless buttressed by public authority, but this insight also is usually ignored.

Hance Haney

Director and Senior Fellow of the Technology & Democracy Project
Hance Haney served as Director and Senior Fellow of the Technology & Democracy Project at the Discovery Institute, in Washington, D.C. Haney spent ten years as an aide to former Senator Bob Packwood (OR), and advised him in his capacity as chairman of the Senate Communications Subcommittee during the deliberations leading to the Telecommunications Act of 1996. He subsequently held various positions with the United States Telecom Association and Qwest Communications. He earned a B.A. in history from Willamette University and a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon.