Hey Obama, Get Your Hands Off Google

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In an op-ed published last week by Investor’s Business
, Alex Epstein, analyst at the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights,
reacted to the Department of Justice’s recent announcement that it will increase
enforcement of antitrust laws, and argued that the government should leave
successful businesses alone to operate as they see fit.

According to Mr. Epstein, companies like Google, which are in the crosshairs
of the Department of Justice, have “no power to force consumers” to use their
products and “no power to prevent competitors from offering products” of their
own. Consequently, such companies can pose “no threat to anyone’s rights or to
the competitive process.”

The only player in today’s market that can thwart competition, said Epstein,
is the government. “By using the vast and arbitrary political power given to it
by antitrust law, the government can forcibly control successful companies such
as Google and Microsoft, telling them what products they cannot sell, what
markets they cannot enter, what prices they cannot charge. Obama’s new push to
‘protect’ competition,” noted Epstein, “is the real threat to competition.”

“Under the reign of antitrust, any superior company can be stopped in its
tracks because some bureaucrat, company, or academic decides that the prices in
its voluntary contracts are too high, or its voluntary terms are too onerous, or
even,” added Epstein, “that its stable of free products is too large!”

“Success earned in a free, competitive process is an achievement.” It is a
travesty, concluded Epstein, that “our Department of Justice regards it as a