Allegations of "search bias" have led to increased scrutiny of Google, including active investigations in the European Union and Texas, a possible FTC investigation, and sharply-worded inquiries from members of Congress. But what does "search bias" really mean? Does it demand preemptive "search neutrality" regulation, requiring government oversight of how search results are ranked? Is antitrust intervention required to protect competition? Or can market forces deal with these concerns?
To take part in the discussion, use the hastag #SearchReg on Twitter.
A panel of leading thinkers on Internet law will explore these questions at a luncheon hosted by TechFreedom, a new digital policy think tank. The event will take place at the Capitol Visitor Center room SVC-210/212 on Tuesday, June 14 from 12:30 to 2:30pm, and include a complimentary lunch. CNET's Declan McCullagh, a veteran tech policy journalist, will moderate a panel of four legal experts:
- Prof. Frank Pasquale, Seton Hall University School of Law, author of Federal Search Commission? Access, Fairness and Accountability in the Law of Search
- Prof. Geoffrey Manne, Lewis & Clark Law School, TechFreedom Adjunct Fellow, and Director of the International Center for Law & Economics, author of If Search Neutrality Is the Answer, What's the Question?
- Prof. James Grimmelman, New York Law School, author of The Structure of Search Engine Law
- Prof. Eric Goldman, Santa Clara University School of Law, author of Search Engine Bias and the Demise of Search Engine Utopianism
TechFreedom's newly published book, The Next Digital Decade: Essays on the Future of the Internet includes a chapter on search engine regulation comprised of essays from each of these four panelists, summarized in the book's introduction. This unique book covers a range of other Internet policy issues from a broad range of perspectives, including how to regulate Internet intermediaries generally and the long-standing debate over “Internet Exceptionalism”: whether the Internet can, or should, be regulated like traditional media. The entire Next Digital Decade book can be downloaded as a free PDF, purchased for Kindle ($0.99), or purchased in hardcover ($28.73).