To what extent can Google remain a monopoly on the Internet? | technology

There’s a new antitrust bill for big technology companies, and this law will have the biggest impact on Google.

In an article published by “Vox”, author Sarah Morrison says that a group of lawmakers – led by Senator Mike Lee – introduced competition and transparency legislation into the Digital Advertising Act last Thursday, as this legislation allows any company with more than $ 20 would prevent. billion in revenue. Digital advertising, from owning various parts of the digital advertising chain.

Consequently, Google will have to choose between being a buyer or a seller, or having ads displayed interchangeably between the two, as the company currently owns all three parts, and has faced allegations that it may use this to unfairly manipulating this market to its advantage.

The author quoted Google’s response, saying – in a statement – that it was “wrong legislation, came at the wrong time, and focused on the wrong target,” and that its advertising tools produce better quality ads and protect users’ privacy.

The author explained that the new legislation is part of the growing antitrust problems at Google, and although the media has paid more attention to the antitrust issues of competitors “Apple” and “Meta”, it is possible that Google is in bigger trouble than any other Another technology giant, state and federal governments have filed 4 antitrust lawsuits, all within a year, and most states have sued Google over their search business.

The author pointed out that the legislation – which will become law by the end of next summer – will prevent Google from prioritizing its own products over the platforms it owns and manages. US online innovation and choice Self-preference over platforms it owns and operated. by large technology companies, for example, Google will not allow its own products to be given a prominent place in Google search results unless those products deserve their blame for that place.

Google has been seen as a major improvement over slower search engines that are easier to manipulate (Getty Images)

The author indicated that this all addresses the power and distribution of Google; The once humble search engine company has become so deeply ingrained in everything we do online that it’s hard to imagine how the internet would work without it, but that power may have been unfairly acquired and maintained, in ways that hurt competitors and consumers, even with Many Google products remain popular and free.

This was not always the case, as Google was once seen as a start-up that changed the industry, and was a huge improvement over the slower, easier-to-manipulate search engines manufactured by Yahoo and Altavista. Its algorithms showed better results, quickly became the market leader, and then again changed the market by placing ads specifically on what people wanted on search results, an idea the company got from an unknown search engine called Go2. Google’s search ads were so successful that this trade is its largest source of revenue to date. In 2021, search advertising raised nearly $ 150 billion, more than Google’s combined revenue streams.

The author pointed out that the Federal Trade Commission drew its attention to Google in 2011, and opened an investigation into the company’s alleged anti-competitive behavior in search and advertising, but did not follow up.

In return, it tended to either obtain agreements from Google to change certain business practices, or to decide that Google’s actions were justified because it improved its services and the experience of its users, and this decision was partly blamed on the Obama administration’s good relationship with the company.

The author argues that the government has constantly underestimated the size that Google would become if left unchecked to grow, but Google is not the same company as it was 10 years ago, and is not seen the same way, and it appears that it will eventually fall under the weight of the antitrust bill, while the extent of the damage they have inflicted remains in the future.

google chrome extension google - (Shutterstock)
Google owns about 65% of the web browser market (Shutterstock)

How does Google harm competition?

For Luther Lowe, senior vice president of public policy at Yelp and a longtime critic of Google, this moment is the culmination of more than a decade of work trying to convince lawmakers and enforcers that Google has illegally entrenched its power and benefited from hurting companies like his.

His company found himself competing with Google when Google released its own version of user-generated business performance reviews, placing its reviews at the top of its search engine results, above Yelp.

According to the author, Lowe emphasizes that he is not the only person who argues that Google’s dominance makes it impossible for anyone else to compete, and although Google says it has competitors in all of its markets, it also enjoys the majority of market share. , and it is estimated that it has about 90% of the market share The global market for search engines.

In web browsers, “Google Chrome” owns about 65%, and in mobile operating systems, its “Android” owns about 70% worldwide.

Being big and successful or even a monopoly is not illegal in America, but when that company starts using its dominance to harm competition and consumers, antitrust violations need to be looked at. This is what addresses lawsuits and what seeks to ban the proposed antitrust bills.

How can Google harm consumers?

The author believes that while there are many free Google products, the lack of competition will not increase their prices, and it is possible that every subscriber regularly uses, and perhaps likes, at least one of the many Google services. but Google has become the most popular search engine because the creators have discovered a way to get better and faster results than competitors.

According to the author, as Google’s dominance grew, the company also changed its results page from a simple list of links designed to get users away from its platform as quickly as possible, to a page designed to as long as possible on its platform. possibly, so the results changed Search from a list of links with a few ads at the top to a site full of Google special offers.

The author said that Google says that these additional features improve its search results, but if Google’s listings are not as good as the rest of the results, Google usually uses its power to push the user to a poor product, and the best results may not be suitable for him.

The user can also spend more money on applications when using the Google Play Store, as the applications are required to use Google’s in-app payment system and pay a large amount for it, and these increased costs may also apply to digital advertising.

“If the advertiser pays a higher competitive price, it means that he is paying a monopoly price to get these ads, and the consumer will ultimately bear the cost that will be included in the price of the product,” says Scott Morton, ‘ a professor of economics at Yale University in the USA.

The Google Play logo will be displayed at Tokyo Game Show 2019 in Chiba, east of Tokyo, Japan, September 12, 2019. REUTERS / Issei Kato
The Open Application Markets Act will force the Google Play App Store to follow certain rules (Reuters)

How can Google be relatively unaffected by this?

Google has never faced a greater threat to its business model and structure than it does today. But lawsuits, especially large antitrust lawsuits, take years to resolve, and it is never certain that it will take on a government format. The Department of Justice case was filed in the fall of 2020, and a verdict is only expected in the fall of 2023.

With that in mind, one might ask, can all this Attorney General and the Department of Justice be wrong about Google? Adam Kovacevich, who was Google’s director of communications and public policy during the FTC investigation, believes the search lawsuits have no better chance of success now than the FTC had in 2013 when he chose not to sue Google not.

Two-party antitrust bills introduced last summer may be a faster way to make a difference in the core of the Silicon Valley world, though it will not have as much of an impact on Google’s business model as the negative outcome of a lawsuit.

But Yen, of Swiss company Proton, and Lowe of Yelp, say they think it’s a long way for the bills to make the competition arena more equitable. “.

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