Google on Friday responded to a report by the Wall Street Journal that the Federal Trade Commission decided not to sue the Silicon Valley search giant despite finding it guilty of anti-competitive practices. Google shot back at the Journal, mocking the publication and accusing the report of containing inaccuracies as well as misleading readers.
Specifically, the Mountain View, California, tech firm called out Rupert Murdoch, the Australian-born CEO of News Corp., which owns the Journal. "One of your newspapers, the Wall Street Journal, accused Google of wielding undue political influence. Blimey!" Google said in a blog containing a GIF, or compressed video image, of a chuckling baby. "More seriously, given the inaccuracies that have been published, we wanted to give our side of the story."
Google then goes on to counter several of the Journal's claims. Primarily, the Journal's report said the FTC chose not to sue Google despite recommendations from its staff to do so. Google responds to that claim, citing an FTC statement this week saying its response was in accord with its staff recommendations.
Next, Google tackles claims in another Journal report that it holds far more influence over Washington than other tech and media companies. The Journal's report claimed Google personnel have made 230 visits to the White House since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009. Google claims many of those visits came from employees while they were not employed by the company, one was to assist the government on the HealthCare.gov website and many other visits were for YouTube interviews of the president and photo shoots for a Google art project. Other visits were for summits also attended by staffers of other tech companies, including Microsoft and Yahoo.
"The meetings we did have were not to discuss the antitrust investigation. In fact, we seem to have discussed everything but," said Google, explaining many of the meetings were for topics ranging from self-driving cars to cybersecurity.
Google closes its blog saying the company wasn't sued by the FTC because it does not hold a monopoly in the search market. This was reflected by the FTC, state attorneys general and courts in Germany and Brazil, all of which chose not to pursue antitrust suits against the company.