Print 48 comment(s) - last by Chocobollz.. on Apr 27 at 5:28 AM

Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin  (Source: a beautiful gift/WordPress)
Odds of Google being split up are very slim

Google is an American company that started as a simple search engine and grew to a massive corporation with tentacles reaching all across the technology arena into other unrelated fields. The size of the company and money generated by Google and its advertising programs today make it a clear target for watchdog groups that maintain Google is a monopoly.

One watchdog group called Consumer Watchdog has asked the DOJ this week to break Google into smaller companies to prevent a monopoly situation along the lines of Microsoft. John M. Simpson from Consumer Watchdog is the person who made the request to the DOJ and he argues that the DOJ's actions against Google's attempts at buying other advertising firms and scanning books isn't enough to ensure the search giant doesn't turn into a monopoly.

Simpson wrote in a letter to the DOJ, "Google exerts monopoly power over Internet searches, controlling 70 percent of the U.S. market. For most Americans – indeed, for most people in the world – Google is the gateway to the Internet. How it tweaks its proprietary search algorithms can ensure a business's success or doom it to failure."

The fact that search rankings on Google can make or break a company is no theory. Each time Google algorithms change retailers around the world moan over last rankings. Once a retailer is off the first page of results the chances of searchers clicking becomes much smaller.

EWeek rightfully points out that the major flaw with Simpson's argument is that Google doesn't force anyone to use its services; it just happens to be the most popular service around. Google also lets users leave anytime they want and take their data with them when they go. Another factor that hurts Simpson's idea of a split up Google is the fact the DOJ didn’t split up Microsoft when asked by advocates, and Microsoft has been convicted of anti-competitive practices in the past. Google has so far never been formally accused of anti-competitive practices, though some major companies like AT&T have accused Google of being anti-competitive.

Simpson also alleges that Google purposefully tweaks its algorithms to keep other businesses down and serve its own interests. Google has long maintained that algorithm changes are nothing more than an attempt to give users more accurate and useful search results.

Simpson outlined his plans for breaking Google up in the letter sent to the DOJ, "Gmail and its new social networking service, Buzz, could be spun off as a separate entity as could YouTube, a Google acquisition that we believe should have been denied at the time of merger. Enterprise applications could be another separate business."

A Google spokesperson told 
eWeek, "We totally understand that with size and success comes scrutiny. Although given their track record, even if we broke Google in half tomorrow, Consumer Watchdog would probably insist that we split halves into quarters."

Google is a huge company, but if the company was broken up as suggested by Simpson many of the services simply don’t generate the revenue needed to continue operating. Google's massively successful advertising program underwrites most of the free services like Gmail and Buzz.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By rdhood on 4/22/2010 11:45:32 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think people remember what computing was like in the 1980's. servers were a quarter of a million dollars and operating systems were tens of thousands of dollars... and you got NOTHING with them but the base OS.

Hate on Microsoft all you like, but what they were offering at the $100 "monopoly" price of Windows XP would have cost over $10,000 dollars just a decade earlier.

If someone can do a better cloud than Google, then the world will abandon Google like they abandoned expensive proprietary operating systems for Windows.... like they abandoned proprietary computers and servers for Intel/AMD PC's.

I just finished doing a floor plan and attic finish out of my house in Google SketchUp. There is NOTHING FREE out on the net that even comes close to the free sketchup version. That is typical of Google.

Even Google, though, is vulnerable. Have a look at facebook. Facebook could easily start doing "Facebook mail" and "Facebook search", and there would be millions of people who would never leave the social networking sites to do search or mail in Google.

Microsoft missed the boat on search engines and cloud apps to preserve their cash cows. Google missed the boat on social networking to preserve theirs. It is human nature to try to preserve the status quo that made you rich, and to continue to milk your cash cow while failing to notice or invest in the new technology that will replace it. Search engines, free email and cloud computing were ALL overlooked by Microsoft due to their protectionist greed. If history is our teacher, Google will fail to see the technology that will bring about their own demise.

By Bateluer on 4/22/2010 1:20:32 PM , Rating: 2
Google does have a social networking program, Buzz. Needs to grow though. And as Facebook becomes more and more invasive, I can see people migrating to other social networks that provide what they want without being as invasive.

"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki