Sure it’s big. But is that bad? This story is about a new anti-trust suit being filed against Google, inc. The story gives a good, balanced view of the issue, pointing out that Google’s ability to dominate the search engine market may be because they are good at what they do.
Google executives acknowledge the scrutiny. “We’re getting larger, and we have been very disruptive within some industries,” says Alan Davidson, head of United States public policy at Google. “We know we have a giant bull’s-eye on our backs.”
IN Washington, there is significant disagreement over the proper scope of competition regulation and what the future should hold for Google — and both sides have big financial stakes.
On one side are companies like AT&T and Microsoft, which vociferously lobby against Google in the policy arena.
AT&T is Google’s staunchest foe in the battle over “net neutrality,” a term used by Google and others who fear that telecommunications providers might throttle bandwidth for certain Internet services, discouraging innovation. Microsoft provides e-mail and other services in competition with Google and has a rival search engine, Bing, which controls 11.8 percent of the market in the United States. (Google has 64.4 percent, and Yahoo 17.7 percent, according to comScore.)
Of course, the real reason for anti-trust is to encourage competitive practice in markets where lower prices will encourage more efficient production levels. It seems here that, with 64% of the market, Google might be vulnerable to more aggressive services from other firms, but they don’t seem able to do that.
On the other hand, if Google is using their power to undermine the efforts of other firms, they might face fines or restrictions on their activities.
Their goal was to air the Foundem couple’s complaint that in 2006, Google’s supposedly objective algorithms suddenly dropped Foundem into the netherworld of Google search results. They say Google also raised the rates Foundem had to pay to advertise alongside search results. These moves, the couple say, pushed their comparison shopping site out of view, and Google later put the spotlight on its own shopping listings.