In search of the right Greg Abbott

The SE Texas Record Sep. 18, 2010, 6:20pm

A Google search for "Greg Abbott" returns nearly 170,000 results. Of course, not all of those Gregg Abbotts are our Greg Abbott.

Disambiguation will reduce the total. But if you instead search "Attorney General Greg Abbott" you'll still generate nearly 150,000 hits.

That's a lot of web pages for friends and foes of the Texas AG to google. You can't buy that kind of publicity.

And yet, Abbott seems to be searching for a way to challenge Google's dominance as the world's favorite online data detector.

In response to complaints from smaller, rival search-engine companies, Abbott has launched an antitrust inquiry to determine if Google is manipulating its search results to stifle competition.

Google has cried foul, alleging that the three complainants all have ties to its biggest rival, Microsoft.

"It appears that our large competitors are injecting themselves into complaints by smaller firms against Google, likely in order to learn more about our business practices and use that information to develop a broader antitrust complaint against us," a Google spokesman speculated.

Back in February, we praised Abbott for challenging the EPA's endangerment ruling on so-called greenhouse gases and thanked him for protecting our state and people from federal usurpation of our rights.

Now that he seems intent on extending the powers of state government beyond our boundaries and meddling in the free market, we have to call him on it.

No internet surfer is compelled to use Google. There are plenty of other search engines available, and Google's popularity has declined somewhat the last two years. Baidu and Microsoft's Bing are gaining ground, and Facebook looms large as a future favorite.

We can't understand why Greg Abbott has injected himself into a dispute between rival search engine providers and made our state a party to what may be a Microsoft power play.

This isn't the Greg Abbott we're looking for. Let's try another search.

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