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[4]: Google is not a monpoly
by jonsmirl on Thu 22nd Feb 2018 12:32 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Google is not a monpoly"
jonsmirl
Member since:
2005-07-06

In the EU a company with a 'dominant share' is not allowed to 'distort' the market. The EU concluded that Google was distorting the vertical search engine market.

By their reasoning Google has a dominant share on general search. They determined that vertical search engines were dependent on general search and being denied unrestricted access to it. So they fined Google billions and made then give access to the vertical search engines.

Two issues I have with that:
1) The conclusion that vertical search was dependent on access to general search. The continuous ads I see on TV for Trivago are pretty good proof that general search access is nice free marketing, but not a required input.

2) The fact that the EU excluded places like Ebay and Amazon from their definition of vertical shopping search engines. If you include sites like this Google shopping does not have a dominant share.

Finally I think it is utterly ridiculous to fine a company $2.7B over the design of a web page.

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