Also "Good to Know"? Google's Monopoly Power Affects You
Last week, Google launched a campaign around things that are “Good to Know” about your privacy online. We liked the idea and came up with a few Good to Know items of our own.
- Google is dominant in search and search advertising. Google has 79% of share for search and 81% for search advertising in the U.S.
- Google has been found to be dominant by several federal entities responsible for enforcing antitrust laws. District judge Denny Chin rejected the proposed Google Books settlement stating that it “would effectively grant Google a monopoly over digital books…and such a monopoly would further entrench Google’s dominant position in the online search business.” On the same issue, the Department of Justice commented “Google already holds a relatively dominant market share in that market.” And the Federal Trade Commission called Google “the dominant provider of sponsored search advertising.”
- Google itself agrees it’s in the area of a monopoly. A Sept. 21, 2011 Senate Antitrust Subcommittee hearing on the “Power of Google,” Subcommittee Chairman Herb Kohl (D-WI) asked about Google’s monopoly power and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt responded “I would agree, Senator, that we’re in that area.”
- Google is under investigation by antitrust enforcement agencies around the world.
- An American Antitrust Institute expert said that “maintaining competitive markets for both general and niche search may be the only alternative, ultimately, to an unregulatable monopoly.”
This dominance gives Google unprecedented power over what users see on the Internet as Google steals content from competitors and steers users to its own sites. The result? Fewer choices for consumers and businesses, less innovation, and higher prices.
Google’s abuse of its monopoly power in search affects what you see on the Internet? Now that’s good to know.