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Google concerns about antitrust rules’ ‘unintended effects’

Ahead of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s assessment of the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, Google voiced great worry about the “unintended consequences” of antitrust regulations.

According to Kent Walke, these measures would impose one set of laws on American businesses while granting foreign businesses a break. “They would also give the Federal Trade Commission and other government organisations unrivalled control over consumer product design.” All of this would be a complete 180-degree turn from the strategy that has propelled the United States to the forefront of global technology.

“An ‘innovation by permission’ requirement could force American technology companies to get approval from government bureaucrats before launching new features or even fixing problems, while foreign companies would be free to innovate. Foreign companies could also routinely access American technology as well as Americans’ data.”

He said these bills would degrade privacy and security and “would prevent us from securing our products by default, and would introduce new privacy risks”.

“The bills could hamper our ability to integrate automated security features if other companies offer similar features. For example, we might be prevented from automatically including our SafeBrowsing service and spam filters in Chrome and Gmail to block pop-ups, viruses, scams, and malware.”

“These bills may compel us to share the sensitive data you store with us with unknown companies in ways that could compromise your privacy. And when you use Google Search or Google Play, we might have to give equal prominence to a raft of spammy and low-quality services,” he said.

In a blog post, Kent Walke, President Global Affairs and Chief Legal Officer Google and Alphabet said millions of Americans use online services like Google Search, Maps, and Gmail to find a new information and get things done but, “legislation being debated in the House and Senate could break these and other popular online services, making them less helpful and less secure, and damaging American competitiveness”.

The antitrust legislation is designed to ensure that businesses compete fiercely to create the greatest products for customers. However, the proposals’ vague and expansive provisions will damage popular goods that aid consumers and small businesses, he argued, benefiting just a few firms who brought their complaints to Washington.




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