Wharton Professor's Guide to the Action at the Senate's Google Hearing
Looks like we’re not the only ones counting down to the Senate Antitrust Hearing on the “Power of Google.”
This week, Dr. Eric Clemons, a professor at the Wharton School and information technology expert, released a two-part Guide to the Action.
The whole series is a must read, but we’ve gone ahead and compiled a highlights reel:
- There’s no such thing as a free lunch. “Search may not be free to consumers,” Clemons writes. “Corporations that pay for positioning may pass those charges on to consumers, and if Google’s market power in search allows them to charge monopoly prices for keywords, then the charges passed to consumers may be quite high.”
- Google might not show you what you’re looking for. “Search may not be as fair and unbiased as consumers assume. By sending consumers to the winners of keyword auctions, Google may confuse consumers.” Support for our theory that Google didn’t build Google for users. Google built Google for Google.
- Google is no longer just a search engine. “I would next want to determine what business Google thought it was in, and what business its customers thought it was in.” We’d like the answer to this too, seeing as Google seems to be getting further into the content provider business with its acquisition of Zagat.
Dr. Clemons, a widely published expert on the impact of information technology on business, has expressed some serious concerns with the recent monopolistic behavior Google has shown. We share his concerns and are looking forward to having Google answer the tough questions on Sept. 21.