Is Eric Schmidt Protecting a Google Monopoly?

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Photo courtesy of NY Times

Eric Schmidt seems to be everywhere but most often attached to the hip of President Obama. I have a simple question to ask. Many of us know Google is more or less a monopoly – Microsoft and Yahoo have thrown everything they have at search and come up losers. Other countries have tried to compete and no luck. Baidu is the sole exception in China and who knows how long that will last?

The natural question is if Google has a monopoly in search does it need to be broken up? And if so, how does this happen in an Obama administration where the CEO of Google and Barack Obama are like long-lost soul mates?

See Also: (all obtained through Google of course  )

  • Joseph
    January 28, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    1: It is not illegal to have a monopoly.
    2: Google obtained its so-called monopoly position by building a better mouse-trap, and doing so earlier. It won its market share fair and square.
    3: It couldn’t be “broken up” even if you wanted to. How do you give a new successor company half the Google search engine?

  • Rich Tehrani
    January 28, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    The US has broken up many monopolies before — even if they were obtained with good old fashioned hard work or due to the incompetence of the competition.
    See:
    United States antitrust law
    Trust busting
    I have thought about the best way to “break the company up” and it may be as easy as forcing it to share its data with rivals. The clickstream and toolbar data, etc.
    This way the compeition would still need to develop superior algorithms to compete effectively.
    If this seems impossible to you consider the EU is thinking about forcing Microsoft to load its operating system with competitive browsers. Again, Microsoft has a near-monopoly position and this is not legal in many parts of the world.

  • Joseph
    January 28, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    I read it. Google didn’t obtain its so-called monopoly illegally. It did so by building a better mouse-trap. And even if it is a monopoly (which it is not), the law does not make illegal merely being a monopoly.
    Anti-trust law does not allow the government do confiscate corporate property (i.e. data) and give it away to rivals or competitors.
    The E.U. is a while different ball park (and I am not as familiar with its laws), but I doubt even in crazy Europe the law allows it to impose such a solution on Microsoft. (Btw, Microsoft unlike Google DID build its monopoly position illegally.)

  • dmstrategist
    January 29, 2009 at 4:24 am

    Correction. Baidu is NOT the sole exception to Google’s dominance in search. Google is also 2nd (or sometimes 3rd) in couple of countries including S.Korea, Japan and Russia. Back to your point, Google’s dominance (esp. in English markets) is going to be hard to break for the simple reason that they have strategized in order to give power to the user thru a wide range of value-add offerings (e.g. Google Tools) and utilize that to strengthen their lead. it’s a winning formula that no upstart SE has been able to beat.

  • Rich Tehrani
    January 29, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Thanks for the good points dmstrategist. The fact that Google is integrating other products with its search is one of the reasons why it is so successful and ironically posing a problem for Microsoft who last decade many of us considered to be the king of computing monopolies.
    As Google’s marketshare continues to grow, the complaints will become louder.
    There will come a time when we start to frequently hear the company referred to as a monopoly and other companies will look to attack it by saying it uses predatory pricing (a tough argument but lawyers may be able to spin it to win a case) or some other charges which it will have to defend against.
    And I can see a day when the company gets to 90+% of all searches or even greater because the company does search so very well.
    At this rate I predict 2011-2012 is when this issue will come to a head.

  • dmstrategist
    January 29, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    No problem. Too true, but I think that until and unless someone finds concrete proof that GOOG uses our site data to manipulate SERPs and thus pricing bias (which would be one collateral scandal) I guess we might be stuck with this monopoly for a while

  • Harryhatter
    February 28, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Nice story, Rich. What you are say is quite true. Unfortunately, not many of the commenters here are perceptive enough to appreciate it.
    “I read it. Google didn’t obtain its so-called monopoly illegally. It did so by building a better mouse-trap.”
    Do you think buying DoubleClick and attempting to extend the ads to Yahoo is an accident? Google has a monopoly on online advertising which is not good for businesses.

  • catalinak
    April 30, 2009 at 1:39 am

    A lot of companies look to Google for cues. Google is the dominant search engine, having overtaken Yahoo years ago, and is one of the most successful companies in the world to work for. However, CEO Eric Schmidt has insisted that they have suffered along with everyone else during the downturn of the economy. Most of their revenue is generated through their advertising, like search ads that occur with searches on the website. Granted, they aren’t hurting as badly as other companies have been, but they have had to resort to layoffs and aren’t growing at as fast a pace as before. There‚Äôs no doubt that during these tough economic times, no one is truly safe from its devastating effects.

  • rey
    August 14, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    I think he is.

  • ben
    August 14, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Why do you agree Rey?

  • Noureen
    September 8, 2009 at 8:59 am

    I think he is. He is protecting google since google is trying to be game changer to it’s benefit. Google wants to be as strong as Microsoft and yahoo. So have no doubt about it.

  • Joshan
    September 8, 2009 at 9:01 am

    I totaly think so. Rich what you said is true.

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