Posted October 7, 2011 9:58 am by with 2 comments

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While this is an admittedly small sample size and may not be representative of antitrust lawyers on a more widespread basis, a poll taken at an American Bar Association event at Stanford University reveals that nearly 3/4 of the antitrust lawyers present didn’t feel that Google was hurting competition.

The event was a debate and polling before the debate had attendees of the debate set at 61% not feeling that Google has hurt competition.

Those on the other side of the debate? Before it got underway 19% felt that Google was hurting competition and that number lowered slightly to 17% following the exchange.

So what’s this prove? Well, nothing really. Since this group of lawyers is more likely to be from the Silicon Valley region there could be more bias toward protecting one of the biggest players not only in the region but the entire planet.

What it does show, however, is that lawyers have a different view (one that actually is supposed to know the law) vs. the tech press (and press at large) that wants to try any case about Google on emotion rather than law. Right now, emotion is easy to sell. Look a the Occupy Wall Street protests. These people are gathering in some places and not even knowing what their message is. Wow, that’s encouraging.

Now, don’t get me wrong, what happens on Wall Street can be maddening for sure. The trouble is that I don’t have any economic training to fully understand exactly what is wrong other than it manifests itself in greed. Greed is not good for all (although it is ridiculously good for a select few). Sure it can be a bone of contention but unless I have some real knowledge of the real deal I don’t have a real opinion. I am just complaining.

So back to Google. This straw poll is by no means a final judgment on whether Google is or is not too powerful but rather a chance for us commoners to put emotion aside for a second and seek the facts. If Google is found to be guilty of these charges based on the law and facts then so be it. But if they are found not guilty of these charges based on the law and the facts we have to simply let it go and stop complaining.

Why not instead try to use what Google has created to help pull us all out of this economic train wreck. Now wouldn’t that be revolutionary?

Image Credit robodread / Shutterstock

  • Check out the list of attendees, though (available at your link). Half are corporate counsel, a quarter are exclusively antitrust defense, and another quarter are mixed plaintiffs/defendants. None of the attendees are from plaintiffs-side antitrust law firms.

    I’d say this is more an issue of audience bias than any real reflection of the strength of the claims against Google.

  • Well, these are folks that would expect to win any attack on their client correct? In effect they are saying that they would take this case because they could beat a plaintiff’s case. Skewed to a degree sure but lawyers don’t like to take on cases that they have a good chance of losing.