Robert Birge, Chief Marketing Officer of KAYAK (a founding member of FairSearch.org), offered the following statement: “The Google tax isn’t obvious, but it’s very real. As Google has become the starting place for most people on the Internet, companies large and small have to pay a toll in order to just show up on the consideration list. These costs are real, they are substantial, and they get passed along to the end user even if they are hidden.” Under the “main findings and conclusions” section of the report, Rosenfeld writes: - Google’s claims about its contribution to the U.S. economy are grossly exaggerated; can deceive policy makers, news media, and the public; and should not be trusted. - Google’s overestimate was at least 100 times the value of the actual contribution of its search engine. Google takes credit for economic activity that is mostly generated by other economic agents. In reality, the contribution of Google’s search engine to the economy is very small, amounting to at most only 1% of the overestimated economic contribution claimed by Google in its reports. - Google’s net impact on the economy could well be negative after accounting for the impacts of its dominance and market power. Google has consistently generated percent net (profit) margins that are between 4 and 8 times the U.S. corporate average, indicating that advertisers’ costs are likely higher than they would be in a competitive market environment. - Google’s misleading claims were largely the result of fatally flawed, inaccurate assumptions. Google’s analysis contradicted economic logic, did not take into account obvious costs of doing business, ignored the results of previous empirical economic studies, and failed to consider negative economic impacts of the company’s market dominance. Get the full story at WebProNews Download the full report at FairSearch.org (PDF 1.2 MB)