Blumenthal announced that his office had launched an investigation into whether agreements between the two companies and e-book publishers are anti-competitive.
This is at least superficially a real issue, and, though the DOJ and FTC are already on it, there’s nothing unusual about a state AG trying to throw himself into the fray and get some press.
What is unusual — or would be for anyone but Blumenthal — is that this is the third time he has gone after high profile tech companies in just the past few weeks.
Dick has managed to make himself the face of the crusade against Google over wifi data recorded by its Street View cars. This is a non-issue, but it sounds scary to people that don’t understand it, and Google is a fun company to go after.
More recently, Blumenthal filed an amicus brief supporting a California law that bans the sale of violent video games to minors that is being contested under first-amendment grounds. Connecticut doesn’t have such a law, nor are there plans to enact one. Blumenthal is just sayin’. He isn’t saying anything about the Constitutional issues relevant to the case, of course. Instead, he issued an astonishing press release filled with descriptions of games in which players “players burn people alive with gasoline and urinate on people to make them vomit,” “decapitate people with shovels, beat police to death while they beg for mercy and slaughter nude female zombies.” (That last one seems out of place. Those other things are evil, but shouldn’t we be encouraging our children to slaughter whatever zombies they encounter, regardless of their gender and state of undress?)
Back in April, he voiced his outrage that Craigslist makes money off of sex ads. Craigslist makes money off of those ads because it was pressured to charge for them, so that law enforcement could track down the advertisers’ credit cards. One of the people publicly applying that pressure was Richard Blumenthal.
None of this nonsense is of any help to Connecticut. In fact, the AG’s high-profile crusading has actually hurt his constitute nts. A woman whose PC business was destroyed when Blumenthal and Connecticut sued her and charged her with fraud successfully countersued for $18 million (though the damages were reduced on appeal) when the accusations proved unsubstantiated.
But it’s a lot of help to Dick Blumenthal, who desperately needs more headlines in which his name appears, and in which the phrase “lied about serving in Vietnam” doesn’t.
We get it, you have a campaign to run. But the tech hysteria is wearing a little thin. Please, find someone else to harass.
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