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Break Up Google? Consumer Group To Call For It

Consumer Watchdog, a consumer advocacy group that has targeted Google before, plans to call on the US government to start an antitrust investigation into Google and will suggest remedies that include breaking the company up. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, all of this will be detailed at a news conference Wednesday in Washington, DC.

John Simpson, a director at Consumer Watchdog, tells the Chronicle:

“We, as an organization, have concluded that there’s enough evidence on the table to warrant this, to go beyond the reactive steps that the regulatory agencies have followed up until now.”

Google is facing mounting government pressure on many fronts these days. Privacy officials in 10 countries just sent Google a letter detailing complaints about Google Buzz and Street View. There are recent reports that the FTC may challenge Google’s purchase of AdMob. And last year, the Department of Justice issued its objections to the proposed Google Book Search settlement.

No wonder Google’s lobbying expenses have increased 1,500% since 2005.

Google’s antitrust problems aren’t new. Here are links to a few previous articles we’ve written here on Search Engine Land:

We have emails in to both Consumer Watchdog and Google seeking further information and comments, but have not heard back as of this moment.

Postscript, April 21: Google has replied to our request for comment, and we’ve detailed that in this story: Google On Break Up: Cut Us In Half, They’d Demand Quarters. Consumer Watchdog has yet to reply to our e-mail.

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