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Google is coming under increasing scrutiny thanks to its market dominance

When it comes to antitrust concerns, one name typically springs to mind -- Microsoft. The massive software company has faced allegations of blocking competition repeatedly over the years. Microsoft isn’t alone in fighting antitrust issues in America and some view Google as the next possible monopoly.

Reuters reports that Google is more than a successful technology company; it's a cultural icon as well. With the size and dominance of the search and advertising giant, the government is increasingly looking at Google to be sure that none of its practices are stifling competition in the market.

Evan Stewart of Zuckerman Spaeder said, "The point is that if we're going to maintain that competitive position, it can't be because we allow one entity to become a complete monopolist."

One example of the increasing scrutiny Google is under, despite the fact that Google CEO Eric Schmidt is an outspoken Obama supporter, is the alleged investigation into Google and Apple board members. The government is looking closely at the deal Google has brokered with the Authors Guild and Association of American Publishers that would allow it to create a huge online library as well.

Google so far has been reluctant to raise the ire of regulators and has chosen to walk away from deals with potential antitrust issues. One example is Google walking away from the Yahoo search partnership when regulators said that investigation and opposition to the deal might be warranted.

No one is saying that Google has done wrong at this point, merely that the company could become a monopoly with its aggressive plans and market dominance.

Google's Adam Kovacevich said, "We understand that any time a company is successful, there's a certain degree of scrutiny that comes with the territory."

Bert Foer, head of the American Antitrust Institute told Reuters, "It's not that Google has necessarily done anything wrong. It's not that it's bad or poorly intentioned. It's playing such a large role in the flow of information and has so much free cash to play with and so many creative and aggressive ideas that it presents potential problems regarding... privacy and competition."

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RE: Search engines have no future.
By wuZheng on 5/8/2009 11:51:12 AM , Rating: 3
If the internet was controlled by businessmen from the start, it wouldn't be even a fraction as ubiquitous as we enjoy it today. Consider, many telcos/ISPs are considering/pushing a subscription based system of internet access. That means you can only access certain amount of content at different price tiers.

We'll use Wikipedia as an example of what kind of impact that kind of model would have had, if that was the way the internet was organized from the start. Wikipedia is an aggregate collection of articles created, modified, and improved upon by the entire global community. Imagine if only a fraction of those users had the ability to access Wikipedia, the model would quickly fail, and Wikipedia would have failed to thrive as the information source we know it as today. In fact, if the internet were subscription tiered from the start, I doubt Wikipedia would have ever came into existence in the first place.

Truth be told, a lot of things could stand to improve if "geeks" had more control over them.

RE: Search engines have no future.
By reader1 on 5/8/09, Rating: -1
RE: Search engines have no future.
By wuZheng on 5/8/2009 3:01:27 PM , Rating: 4
*facepalm* You didn't get it. Thanks for playing.

RE: Search engines have no future.
By reader1 on 5/8/09, Rating: -1
By msomeoneelsez on 5/10/2009 12:50:55 AM , Rating: 3
Actually, many studies have been taken, and for the most part, Wikipedia tends to be more accurate than the Encyclopedia Britannica. The problem is that the ability for anyone to edit anything (which actually does have a level of control and review on already established topics) makes it a less credible source because of the possibility that the neighborhood idiot wrote out a section in the quantum mechanics piece.

My 2 cents.

RE: Search engines have no future.
By Alexstarfire on 5/8/2009 2:28:47 PM , Rating: 2
Your analogy is far from true. While anyone can certainly add/edit content on Wikipedia only a small minority actually do. And this small minority pretty much creates/edits the entire site. Considering how much these people have contributed I doubt they'd be the ones hurting if this tiered system came in to play.

I agree with what you meant none-the-less though.

By wuZheng on 5/8/2009 2:56:49 PM , Rating: 4
This is true. Let me rephrase, the potential of Wikipedia that you mentioned would not exist if it wasn't as open and universally accessible as it is today.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation
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