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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: Time to break them up
By omnicronx on 5/8/2009 3:47:55 PM , Rating: 2
You are bringing personal opinion into this. When it comes down to it, how you or anyone else for that matter feels about a company is beyond the scope of whether or not a company is a monopoly.

Furthermore, MS is not a true monopoly, the antitrust cases against them were for being a coercive monopoly. Go look at the definition, one could easily argue that Google either already fits this criteria, or they are very close.

Do I agree with it? Not really, why should Google be penalized for continued innovation? On the other hand, these rules are in place to protect us, and we cannot bend the rules for one company, regardless of our opinions.

RE: Time to break them up
By Alexstarfire on 5/8/2009 10:15:35 PM , Rating: 2
Something being free is not an opinion... it's a fact. And the products they offer, save for the Google Search Engine possibly, are not being forced on anyone. The search engine is widely popular and as such it is important for businesses to be near the top, but you can't fault Google for what people do naturally. Google isn't make it hard for other search engines to work properly.

People seem to have this belief that if a company has most of the market share that it's a monopoly, but that's just not the way it works. Having market share doesn't mean jack crap by itself. It's when they use this market share to influence the market. I hardly think that Google is using their "market share" like that. However, I don't know all of their secrets. Perhaps they are and I just don't know it.

RE: Time to break them up
By nycromes on 5/11/2009 12:20:31 PM , Rating: 2
People are way too focused on the cost of the product, but that doesn't mean that a company is or isn't monopolistic in it's policies and actions. Having a monopoly in and of itself is not illegal either, but acting on that position to influence the market and to subvert competitors is illegal. I don't have the slightest idea if Google is doing this, but it certainly is possible. This is why they are being watched as indicated in the above article.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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