back to article OFT boss: 'Google is fantastic and should be applauded'

What happens when competition watchdogs lose their teeth – and roll over to have their tummies tickled? Via the influential chair of the Commons Culture Media and Sport Select Committee, John Whittingdale MP, comes a very interesting story today. Whittingdale relates a conversation with John Fingleton, the head of the Office of …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This sort of crossover between public bodies and private interest is the sort of thing that gave us an environment where NewsCorp felt they were above the law.

    Not sure I expected to see this author in favour of big government and state regulation though.

  2. John Lilburne

    Hey ho!

    "The head of the OFT told me that Google was a fantastic organisation, a fast developing company, and should be applauded,"

    What an ignorant twat.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      the regulator or the MP?

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Move over Mr F

    Mr Fingleton ought to move on and let someone else head the OFt - preferably someone who doesn't care whether or not a company is fantastic, or even whether or not it is of benefit to customers : someone who simply understands that "fair trading" is the point.

    Comes to something when even the watchdogs have a whiff of corruption.

    1. LaeMing

      OFT supporting benefit to customers... fine, as they are capable of thinking of such benefits in the long-term, not just the now. I have yet to see an unfair-trade benefit that doesn't (rather obviously, even in foresight) bite the customers and economy both in the butts before long.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Simply another scumbag politician...

    ...with his hands up some company's dress.

  5. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Web 2.0 effect

    It used to be that the job of the regulator was to say how wonderfully spotlessly ethically pure the oil and defence companies were - it's nice to see that they are keeping up with new trends

  6. Mondo the Magnificent

    Strangely enough...

    When I "Google Image" John Fingleton it comes up with random photos of Muppets dressed in suits...

  7. Anonymous Coward

    All i know.

    is that Google don't even register on the scale of evilness compared to Apple, Microsoft and other companies of similar size.

    They offer me loads of cool stuff (Picasa, SketchUp, Google Earth, Google Maps Steeetview and more), for free, they donate loads of stuff to Opensource (Android, WebM etc)

    In return they want to know what type of adverts I would rather see... targeted or random useless stuff.

    Doesn't seem that bad a deal to me.....

    Of course some people are just out to hate Google right now for obvious reasons...

    1. Dave Cradle


      The two-faced steamroller antics of Google far outstrip even the microsoft of the '90s. The more I hear about them the more I weep for the company that showed such promise of reforming the way big tech business does big business.

      The fact that they give away loads of cool stuff shouldn't blind an intelligent person from this. Some more cynical than me might even call it a bribe for the stupid. Not ME you understand. I'm a pragmatist not a cynic.

  8. Shocked Jock

    Taxes paid by OFT's favourite?

    What the title says. If it doesn't pay British taxes or abide by European data protection standards, then it shouldn't be welcomed by a publicly-funded employee - unless, of course, he's getting a backhander. That would be more honest.

  9. IR


    "The job of a regulator now includes "sending out signals"."

    It's known as "communication", useful for regulators to tell people about regulations.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes, signals are important

    'The job of a regulator now includes "sending out signals".'

    It's ALWAYS been their job to send out signals.

    Regulators are there (supposedly) to act in the public interest and have powers to set rules. They are not merely arbiters of law. Given their powers it's pretty fucking* important that the industry they regulate has a clue as to how they're going to regulate.

    * Expletive added for emphasis.

  11. Confused Vorlon

    Google sets the prices?

    I thought they were set by auction, or has Google started selling advertising on a fixed price basis now?

  12. Arctic fox
    Thumb Down

    The head of a regulatory body may very well have his own private opinions.......

    ............about the qualities of the companies in the industry he is regulating, that does not in principal worry me. However, when he is such a dick-head that he is incapable of keeping those opinions to himself he has demonstrated beyond a peradventure that he is intellectually completely unsuited to his job. He should be removed for that reason alone.

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