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Hey Obama, Get Your Hands Off Google

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In an op-ed published last week by Investor’s Business Daily, 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 crime.”