It is not exactly the application of the consumer welfare standard, nor a scientific survey, but nonetheless an interesting poll at the American Bar Association Antitrust & Intellectual Property Conference before and after presentations from lawyers representing each side. The results?
While this is an admittedly small sample size and may not be representative of antitrust lawyers on a more widespread basis, a poll taken at an American Bar Association event at Stanford University reveals that nearly 3/4 of the antitrust lawyers present didn’t feel that Google was hurting competition. The event was a debate and polling before the debate had attendees of the debate set at 61% not feeling that Google has hurt competition. Those on the other side of the debate? Before it got underway 19% felt that Google was hurting competition and that number lowered slightly to 17% following the exchange.
Interesting results for a group of antitrust lawyers hearing out some version of the arguments likely to be made in from of the antitrust lawyers at the Federal Trade Commission.
UPDATE: Here is Manne & Wright (2011) on the case against the case against Google in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy.