Why Texas AG Antitrust Case v. Google Will Need Whistleblower

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is looking into whether Google is violating antitrust laws with its search engine. The case was spawned by shopping comparison websites Foundem and MyTriggers and the search directory Sourcetools, all of which have ties to Microsoft. These companies are claiming that Google unfairly lowers its rankings for placement on its search engine, causing companies to lose money. Google says that this is untrue and that its algorithms are geared to find the most relevant results for users based on a number of signals. For the AG or private companies to win, they will have to show evidence of conscious purposeful manipulation in order to control the market for unfair advantage for itself of other companies. Or, it will have to prove that the algorithms used are tailored to allow maniuplation or disfavor some internet companies allowing for similar manipulation. If it is true that Google is pulling strings behind the scenes for market control, it might still be hard to get actual evidence of this as it may be very subtle, unless a whistleblower within the company or a former employee with direct knowledge of intentional market manipulation, comes forward. The companies making the complaints are looking to leverage position within Google’s search engine results and therefore have a lot to gain from the AG’s work. Google controls 65% pf the search engine market so lower rankings can means a lot of money lost to a company with poor placement. This will not help the case as the companies complaining are not unbiased. In addition, there is a question of whether Microsoft is behind all of this. A whistleblower with unique and direct information about Google’s methods might make a tough case easier.