Facebook and Amazon are living in well-appointed glass houses, and a 2012 decision to keep complaints private has worked out for all parties, it seems.
Back in 2012, according to a Politico report, the companies complained about Google, urging the government to crack down on their major rival.
Facebook saw the potential customers being snapped up by Google’s search engine for the Google+ social network.
Amazon, a burgeoning online retailer at the time, said Google grabbed data from the Amazon website Google’s shopping endeavor.
In documents obtained by Politico, Facebook and Amazon turned to the Federal Trade Commission in 2012 to complain about Google.
This came before both Facebook and Amazon fought their own antitrust battles in federal court, and before all three stepped up their massive lobbying efforts in Washington.
The documents lend information to the FTC’s decision not to file an antitrust suit against Google in 2013, allowing the company to grow into a behemoth.
“Amazon and Facebook — amidst their growth — are thinking, ‘We can’t be too vocal here because in a couple years it’s going to be used against us,’” said Yelp public policy chief Luther Lowe, a Google critic who spoke to FTC staffers during the probe.
Google declined comment Monday but in a blog post Tuesday, a company official pointed at Microsoft, a bitter rival of Google.
“It’s also clear from the papers how actively Microsoft and other rivals were encouraging these complaints,” Google competition legal director Rosie Lipscomb wrote.
“The FTC put consumers’ interests in higher-quality search results over the interests of a powerful commercial rival, which has since grown even further, to become the second-biggest company in the U.S. by market capitalization.”
Neither Facebook nor Amazon provided comment when contacted by Politico about its concerns about Google.