Professor Cross’ co-authored op-ed piece on Europe’s Google antitrust probe published

Brandeis Professor John Cross’ op-ed, titled “Is Europe’s Google antitrust probe a ‘war’ against US tech?” was recently published on The Conversation.

Cross co-authored the piece with Peter K. Yu, an intellectual property scholar from Drake University.

The article examines the European Commission’s antitrust complaint against Google for abusing its dominant market position, filed last month. The complaint alleges that Google manipulated search results by favoring its own services over other services.

The op-ed piece wondered if these different outcomes signal a European “war” against Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon based on the dominance of US tech companies.

“EU and US antitrust authorities play different roles in policing the market. The FTC concluded that Google’s decision to ‘demote’ rival shopping sites in its overall ranking of search results actually helped consumers, as it provided a greater variety of hits on the first page … ” the authors wrote. “By contrast, the EC does not apply a ‘rule of reason” to excuse otherwise anti-competitive practices. Instead, the commission seems to have taken the position that consumers are entitled to have the best sites listed based on relevance.”

The authors state the investigation could open the door for antitrust actions against major US tech companies in other countries.