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The good, the bad, and the ugly: I talked to two dozen people to put together this in-depth look what might happen with two antitrust agencies gunning for the heart of Google's business, search.
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Stephen Shankland's profile photoGlenard Munson's profile photoPierre Gardin's profile photoDan O'Shea's profile photo
9 comments
 
The competition is a click away, how is that merit for antitrust. Google just do things a lot better than others.
 
How does having 67% (US) and 66% (global) market share constitute monopoly and/or antitrust arguments? Once again, I ask the question: Why do we insist on punishing successful businesses? If a biz does its job better, or more efficiently, than another, why do we insist they "level the playing field"...

Quit dragging the good businesses down to the level of their inferiors; let the others build themselves UP to a better standard.
 
+Glenard Munson I'm not trying to take sides here, but a few other data points: Google has much higher share of search when it comes to mobile, and it has much higher share in some markets (particularly Europe). Also, European antitrust law concerns "dominant" companies, not necessarily monopolies. Last, there's a market in search-ad share here, too, not just search share.

Is there a point at which a company should be broken up or curtailed? There is a reason antitrust law exists, and it seems likely that it needn't bother going after unsuccessful companies.
 
+Stephen Shankland agreed, partially, however, even if they don't "go after unsuccessful companies", they are aiding and abetting them nonetheless. Abuse of the antitrust laws is what we are talking about here. The law is not a mistress we run to for consolation and feeling good about our own inabilities; instead, it is a stern Mother, who helps all of us to see the way to fairness, success, and entrepeneurship. 
 
In addition, if "dominance" is a factor in European and American antitrust, then why hasn't the Apple iPad been a target?
 
+Glenard Munson I've actually talked to people about this a couple times, though not so thoroughly as to write a story about it. In short, antitrust regulators are reluctant to diddle with very new markets. Search, evidently, is mature enough. If they were thinking about the iPad, they wouldn't have to look much farther at what Android did to iPhones to pause and think "maybe this early dominance won't hold." Google and a large array of partners are pushing tablets hard, and with the Nexus 7 there's some evidence of success.

In addition, just getting dominant is not necessarily the issue. It's illegally maintaining dominance (or illegally using it to extend dominance to other domains) that is the problem. Perhaps it'll come to that someday with Apple, but it isn't there yet. Note that it has faced real antitrust criticisms in the past, though I'd say they were mostly peripheral. E.g.:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-31021_3-20004138-260.html
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57545651-37/apple-publishers-cut-e-book-deal-with-eu-regulators-report/
 
Like Robert Borg said, every business is a monopoly if you define its market narrowly enough.
+Stephen Shankland, is it Google's fault if Microsoft ad technologies are crap? What are they supposed to do, introduce bugs in Android, irrelevant search results, bad ad targeting, as a way to help competitors?
As for Almunia's arguments, is it illegal now to promote its own products and sign service agreements? 
 
Also, the performance of Bing/yahoo/ask in European languages is abysmal. The 90% market share is thus perfectly normal. 
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