Antitrust Ruling Sends Message To Focus On Consumers, Not Competitors

After Friday’s late ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia significantly narrowing the scope of a multi-state lawsuit against Google’s search business, the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) applauded the decision and urged Attorneys General to re-focus on policy priorities their citizens are more concerned about. NTU President Pete Sepp offered the following reaction to the ruling:

After a string of botched, meritless Federal Trade Commission lawsuits against other tech companies over the past two years, the loss last week for state Attorneys General is yet another wake-up call for public officials to stop wasting tax dollars and start pursuing smart antitrust policy that is grounded in consumers’, rather than competitors’ welfare.

District Court Judge Mehta’s sharp rebuke of the government for having ‘no record evidence of anticompetitive harm’ in its vertical competition argument against Google’s search engine policies is yet another sign that antitrust crusaders’ exotic legal theories are hitting up against a wall of sound jurisprudence. They are also being confronted by common sense, given the variety of ways that Americans search online.

Try as they might, federal and state lawyers cannot justify their costly harassment of American companies in court. Taxpayers are becoming increasingly frustrated with expenditures of their dollars on overreaching lawsuits. For example, a five-state poll commissioned by NTU demonstrates that taxpayers would much rather have Attorneys General focusing on protecting consumers from fraud, combatting human trafficking, and prosecuting criminals; going after tech companies consistently ranked as a ‘low priority’ or ‘not a priority at all’ across all political and demographic groups that were surveyed.

Although parts of the government’s case against Google will carry on, it is long past time for policymakers to have a reality check and drop these types of wasteful actions. Hounding American firms with poorly founded antitrust accusations only puts the bite on our economy while allowing foreign firms to grow even stronger. Taxpayers deserve a more thoughtful approach.

For nearly 25 years, NTU has warned policymakers about the lasting negative impact of antitrust investigations and litigation on economic innovation, consumer welfare, and the development of technologies that make government more efficient, effective and responsive to taxpayer needs. The organization has likewise voiced concerns over taxpayer resources being directed toward such often-destructive activities. For further information, visit

NTU is also the founder, in 2022, of the Competitiveness Coalition, a first-of-its-kind coalition of two dozen organizations educating the public and advocating for light-touch regulation and tax policies that put consumers first while fostering innovation and attracting new investment.