Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 21st Feb 2018 23:06 UTC
In the News

In other words, it's very likely you love Google, or are at least fond of Google, or hardly think about Google, the same way you hardly think about water systems or traffic lights or any of the other things you rely on every day. Therefore you might have been surprised when headlines began appearing last year suggesting that Google and its fellow tech giants were threatening everything from our economy to democracy itself. Lawmakers have accused Google of creating an automated advertising system so vast and subtle that hardly anyone noticed when Russian saboteurs co-opted it in the last election. Critics say Facebook exploits our addictive impulses and silos us in ideological echo chambers. Amazon’s reach is blamed for spurring a retail meltdown; Apple's economic impact is so profound it can cause market-wide gyrations. These controversies point to the growing anxiety that a small number of technology companies are now such powerful entities that they can destroy entire industries or social norms with just a few lines of computer code. Those four companies, plus Microsoft, make up America's largest sources of aggregated news, advertising, online shopping, digital entertainment and the tools of business and communication. They're also among the world's most valuable firms, with combined annual revenues of more than half a trillion dollars.

The recent focus on technology companies when it comes to corporate power is definitely warranted, but I do find it a little peculiar that it, at the same time, draws attention away from other sectors where giant corporations are possibly doing even more damage to society, like large oil companies and the environment, or the concentration of media companies.

One has to wonder if the recent aggressive focus on tech companies isn't entirely natural.

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RE: Google is not a monpoly
by Alfman on Thu 22nd Feb 2018 02:32 UTC in reply to "Google is not a monpoly"
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Microsoft was a monopoly when it used its Windows licensing power to prevent every OEM in the world from installing any OS besides Microsoft Windows. That was 100% restraint of trade and they deserved to be broken up for doing it.

I just can't see how Google is a monopoly. There is nothing stopping anyone from setting up a competitor to Google. Of course it may be hard to get people to pay attention to you, but that is a marketing problem not a legal one. There are no 'licenses' in place stopping people from using a competing search engine. There were licenses restricting Microsoft's OEMs.

I do agree with you that things could be many times worse if google were to use microsoft's old tactics, but this doesn't have any bearing on whether or not it is a monopoly. You focus on what I'll sum up as "benevolence", but it should be pointed out that technically it is not mutually exclusive with being a monopoly. In other words, one can legally be a monopoly regardless of whether one engages in anti-trust practices.

Another point would be that end users whose perspective you highlight are just a single facet of the google monopoly; they do not reflect the full scope of google's monopoly power.

Edited 2018-02-22 02:44 UTC

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