Is The Justice Dep't Really Thinking About Going After All Of Google's Business On Antitrust?

from the political-extortion dept

We've been somewhat confused by the talk of an antitrust action against Google for its ad deal with Yahoo (which doesn't seem likely to raise prices despite what critics say). However, it's become increasingly clear that the gov't is very likely going to move ahead with this. As we already noted, the Justice Dep't has already hired a well-known outside attorney to lead the charge. It seems unlikely that they would do that if they weren't planning to make a big splash. Plus, news is spreading that the Justice Department is already sharing info on its case with California's Attorney General and potentially other state Attorneys General as well.

Now comes the news that the Justice Department isn't just thinking about stopping the ad deal between Yahoo and Google, but in going after Google in general as a monopolist. This is positively ridiculous, and is clearly politically motivated and funded by companies who simply don't like Google. Yet, nowhere has there been any evidence that Google's size has been used to abuse pricing power or to make things more expensive for consumers. Rather, almost everything it's done has been to make things easier or cheaper for consumers.

Unfortunately, it appears that in this politically motivated world, where Google didn't "play the game," a bunch of politicians and Justice Department officials want to charge Google with the crime of "being too successful." Honestly, that's about all they seem likely to have on the company, because it's hard to see how it's abused its monopoly power in a way that actually harms consumers or prevents competition from entering the market.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Dan Stevens, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 12:53am

    Google have never done anything to harm me. There, I said it.

     

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    Mark Regan, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 2:52am

    US Dept of Justice versus Google

    Do not for a minute forget that the Bush Billionaire Bullies will do whatever it takes to keep Google from directly competing with their buddies, Microsoft, ATT, Comcast, Sprint, Time Warner AOL, and all the other "proprietary" software and pay per minute guys who have EVERYTHING to fear from a customer centric "open-source" company who GIVES their products away.

    Already the newspaper classified industry has been devastated by Google Ad Words. Google Chrome is making Microsoft re-examine improving their Internet Explorer program. Likewise with threat to Microsoft Office products posed by Google Docs.

    Google's Grand Central and Android/Gphone products are making ATT and Sprint and Comcast quake in their boots. And I could go on and on. I would bet serious money that each of the industries whose futures are being threatened by Google's innovative products, concepts and customer-centric philosophy is hiring high-priced lobbyists to pressure their good buddy Bush to get rid of the Google menace.

    Did you see the picture last month of Bill Gates and Georgie Boy demonstrating their good buddy camaraderie last month at the Olympics? Reminds one of the time just after his election as President when Georgie dismissed the anti-trust monopoly charges brought by the Clinton administration against Microsoft.

    Welcome to the Bush era of Corruption, Google.

     

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  3.  
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    Trevlac, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 3:13am

    Re: US Dept of Justice versus Google

    Explains why they didn't go after "Microsoft-AOL-Time-Warner-Comcast-Sprint-Cingular-ATT" the huge mega-entity. Or even one of its parts. No, let's all come down on Google, a team of highly intelligent individuals who strive to make the web a better place. Most of the stuff they do is free like their giant search engine and Google Chrome, a revolutionary browser-in-development. Not to mention all of the experiments in Google Labs they let random people test to give ideas and develop the web. And they make it all open-source and free. How is this monopoly?

    Google are techies, and I'm a techie, and like all techies, we hate stagnation. We hate going backward. We're forevermore trying to move forward, to have that next big breakthrough. It's the same with Physics, with Astronomy, with anything really. Except politics.

     

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    nukturnal, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 3:35am

    I just dont understand

    Frankly I am no supporter of public opinion and I respect everybody's opinion as much as they do to mine.

    Google is everyones favorite and I understand clearly why people immediately take sides when Google's name is painted with mud. Google has grown into a very huge company, nobody can deny that fact, their size and huge pockets has allowed them to make acquisitions of some top companies and products to further expand their reach, I hardly saw anybody saying Google is killing businesses, Google bought Urchin renamed it to Google Analytics and made it Free, what do you think that did to Urchin's competitors? It automatically kills them off, since Google can rely on other numerous sources for revenue.

    Google Chrome did NOT achieve such publicity simply because it was superior to FireFox, IE or Safari, they got that publicity NOT because people have used it over and over again and can tell how good it really is like the case of Firefox, it was simply because Google is everybody's favorite search engine and company and that helped them to have such a user base to take on chrome, Firefox did not make such headlines 4 years ago?

    There is this Great Web App company in Australia called interspire, they had an application called FastFind (a custom easy-to-use search engine for your website), they were doing great, of cause it was nothing even close to what Google is doing but they found a nitch and they took advantage of it, Google suddenly released custom search, now that is very very innovative but what will that mean for companies doing custom search for websites already since once again its FREE.

    Did you see what Nokia did with Symbian? They bought it and made it Free and that to a very large extent affected the Android platform Google was pushing even tough android was also Free it lacked the user base like Symbian.

    Let's not confuse innovation with business ethics and monopoly, Google is an extremely innovative company, but they should be a bit ethical since some of their practices either directly or indirectly hinders other competitors.

    So yes, size does matter when it comes to monopoly issues coz it can directly or indirectly affect competitors. The post and some of the comments would have been very different should it have been Microsoft. People are becoming too emotionally attached to companies that they immediately write off any thing that has to do with Dirt. its understandable

     

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    Trevlac, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 3:51am

    To that, every business move hinders in one way or another even if it helps the consumers. But if Google makes something free and no one decides to compete with a better product then that's everyone who didn't compete's fault. Business version of Natural Selection.

     

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    Mike Acker, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 3:54am

    Google's Great Crime

    Google's Great crime and offense is in producing a modest presentation. A presentation that is not injected with a blitz of hot, onerous advertising.

    this has made Google pleasant to use and has resulted in its enormous popularity

    now if I were a betting man I'd wager we got advertisers steaming and about ready to blow a boiler cuz they want their content onto Google so bad they can't stand it. And I bet them goons is behind this legal action crap.

    I don't think justice will be able to demonstrate any inappropriate practices on the part of Google. Other search services are available -- I like to use 'em here and there. another service just started up -- that Google break-away -- can't think of the name at the moment so I don't see where anyone will be able to demonstrate the Google is doing anything that could be seen a preventing others from entering the business/market

     

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    GoogleGuy, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 4:02am

    They hate our freedoms

    Thats why the Bush administration wants to shut us down! That and of course free access to information is really scary for republicans. An informed public is thier worst nightmare.

     

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    eleete, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 4:19am

    Re: They hate our freedoms

    Ahhhhh, so the Democrats will be there to defend Google ? I think not.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 4:19am

    what a bunch of BS, why not break up some actual monopolies first? Cable companies, phone companies, oil companies...a distributed monopoly is still a monopoly. Price competition is what its about, but the friends of our fascist white house make too much money to from this situation. And the rest of our legally corrupt government (campaigns bought and paid for by by the very same companies) are too worried about losing their funding.

    wake up America we are no longer a democracy, we live in a corporatist society with the illusion of control. We just get to pick which monkey gets paid off.

     

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    eleete, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 4:26am

    Justice Department

    Some of the good ole' boys may wish to take a look at the RIAA or MPAA. There's gold in them thar hills too. Seems like a government bent on increasing the monopolies that allow these companies to profit is involved in some antitrust issues as well. Before I heard one word on a case against Google, I'd rather see the **AA in the hot seat with the Justice Department, but that's not even a blip on the radar. Why is that Justice Department ?

     

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    duane (profile), Sep 12th, 2008 @ 4:32am

    The ad thing yes

    As I've said previously, I do think the ad deal between Google and Yahoo deserve some very close scrutiny. The sheer numbers they will control could have a chilling effect on innovation in that area. Or it could not. It's worth a look.

    However, looking at them for being a monopoly overall is ridiculous. They've got hot competition in every area they make a move into. I truly think what freaks people out is the free aspect of their offerings. As pointed out above, it's hard to beat that price point and no one seems willing to try. That's not really their fault though.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 4:41am

    Re: Re: They hate our freedoms

    "Ahhhhh, so the Democrats will be there to defend Google ? I think not."

    You mean defend Google from Republicans? This is a REPUBLICAN justice department (unconstitutionally so as it turns out - no surprise really though). It is the REPUBLICAN justice department that is going after GOOGLE. Republicans need to face up to the fact that their party has been taken over by a cabal of corrupt, big government "corpro-crats", religious whack jobs and xenophobic shut-ins. The democrats need some balance in politics, but until Republicans are willing to take a hard honest look at what their party has become under Rove-Bush, they have very little chance of taking back control of it.

     

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    eleete, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 4:47am

    Re: Re: Re: They hate our freedoms

    Uhhhhhh, your agenda is quite clear, however, Congress is clearly Democrat controlled. How are those approval ratings? Every department has both parties involves, they are both two sides of the same coin. You bash one and praise the other but they are which makes you the party between both cheeks of the same ass. ; )

     

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    eleete, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 4:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: They hate our freedoms

    involves = involved
    no need for correcting

     

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    PaulT (profile), Sep 12th, 2008 @ 4:53am

    I fail to see how a company that operates solely online with no end-user charges can be considered a monopolist. If a user feels that they are getting a bad service, they can go to a competitor simply by entering a different address.

    The companies losing out by Google's success only have themselves to blame - unlike, say, Microsoft, their success has been achieve with relatively few shady tactics and by offering clearly superior solutions for the most part (e.g. the search engine that made their name).

     

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    PaulT (profile), Sep 12th, 2008 @ 5:12am

    Re: I just dont understand

    "Google bought Urchin renamed it to Google Analytics and made it Free, what do you think that did to Urchin's competitors? It automatically kills them off, since Google can rely on other numerous sources for revenue."

    They could have either followed suit and changed their business model to make their own product free, or offer a noticeably superior product that people were willing to continue paying for. Like the entertainment industry whining about "piracy", people who complain when the business landscape changes instead of adapting deserve what they get. There was a time when people paid for web browsers and media players too - does anyone mourn the passing of those companies who insisted on continuing to charge rather than adapt?

    "Google Chrome did NOT achieve such publicity simply because it was superior"

    Who cares how much press it got? It's not a proven product and people who use it now are more curious than anything. If it's not a great product, people will return to their former browser - and many are ditching Chrome to do just that. I also seem to remember Safari and Firefox getting lots of coverage on their newest versions (mostly bad in Safari's case), and I have no doubt of a media blitz when IE8 comes out. Sounds about even to me (though it's a shame Opera doesn't get the same publicity).

    "There is this Great Web App company in Australia called interspire"

    Since I've never heard of this company before, maybe they had some other issues than Google?

    "it was nothing even close to what Google is doing"

    Aha. Google's strength has always been its superior search functions. If their product worked better on a custom basis than another company's, maybe that was what killed the paid-for product rather than the pricing?

    "Did you see what Nokia did with Symbian? They bought it and made it Free and that to a very large extent affected the Android platform Google was pushing even tough android was also Free it lacked the user base like Symbian."

    I don't see what that has to do with the anti-Google gist of the rest of your post, and it's pretty straightforward. One company releases a platform with a larger user base than a competitor's. It will take a much superior product to tempt people away from a familiar platform, and even if successful this will always take time..

    "The post and some of the comments would have been very different should it have been Microsoft."

    Not really. The problem with Microsoft isn't the tactics it's used, but the fact that it's difficult for people to move away from that platform. Even now, with Linux being a mature and advanced desktop platform, many people won't move away from Windows because Photoshop isn't available or they can't play a new game. So, the tactics become very important, especially when MS use their monopoly position to attempt to leverage other markets (e.g. the IE antitrust scandal, MSN being bundled as well as media player).

    If we were just talking about the MSN sites, it would be equally irrelevant because an unhappy user can just move away. Nobody *has* to do business with Google, but because there's so many users they would be foolish not to. Different thing altogether.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 5:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: They hate our freedoms

    "Uhhhhhh, your agenda is quite clear, however, Congress is clearly Democrat controlled. How are those approval ratings? Every department has both parties involves, they are both two sides of the same coin. You bash one and praise the other but they are which makes you the party between both cheeks of the same ass. ; )"

    Yeah this has been the Republican tactic since their COMPLETE CONTROL of government began to fall apart in late 2006; "yeah were a bunch of lying corrupt thieves, but so are the Democrats . . . ". The truth however remains that the REPUBLICAN party had total control of this country’s government for 6 of the last 8 years . . . TOTAL CONTROL (they asked for it and they got it). With that total control, they spent nearly a trillion dollars invading the wrong country, attempted to grow the size of the federal government by more than the previous administration (a Democrat by the way) was able to shrink it, attacked the constitution attempting to remove checks on executive power, growing federal influence over issues of state sovereignty, spent more money then any other government in the history of civilization (quickly erasing the fiscally responsible balanced budget the previous Democratic administration was able to build) collapsed the credit system, nearly collapsed the commercial banking system through reckless non-regulation (now they have to bail out Fanne Mae – unthinkable just a few years ago), irresponsible tax policy and spending . . . I could go on for days here (with 6 years of total control the republican scandals and screw-up’s are truly nearly endless – not since the administration of Andrew Jackson more than a 100 years ago have we seen this kind of open avarice and corruption). While the Republicans (who where IN TOTAL CONTROL OF THE GOVERNMENT ) where creating all these big government messes and trying to chip away at that pesky constitution, they were also distracting the American people with insulting straw-dog garbage like “gay marriage” amendments to the constitution (which is about the biggest, big government thing I personally have heard In my entire life time – its unbelievable) meanwhile their buggering each other in air port bathrooms and offering male pages candy to play with their willies.
    Really you can try this “they all suck” distraction thing if you want. Especially if it makes you feel better about being duped into voting Republican. Make no mistake though, there is one party to blame for most of the substantial mess America is facing today and that party is clearly the Republican party. While I know Republicans are the last people to actually take responsibility for anything (this has been the number one mantra of the Bush Administration), if the members of that party don’t take control of it away from the special interests that are currently running it you will continue to be considered a fool by your leadership and continue to be treated as one.

     

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    eleete, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 5:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: They hate our freedoms

    TOTAL CONTROL you shout ? You don't see that I also said Congress is controlled by Democrats ? How is their approval rating these days ?

    With the latest post on TechDirt, http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20080911/1804242241.shtml the DEMOCRAT proposed bill on copyright does everything and WORSE than you mention in your rant. Your agenda is clear and I am NOT a republican. Both of these parties are killing this country one law at a time, you need to wake up my friend. Patrick Lehay(D) just killed your entire argument with one swipe by passing a law forced on US by the RIAA and MPAA. Your response to THAT ?

     

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  19.  
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    Vincent Clement, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 5:38am

    Re: I just dont understand

    Let's not confuse innovation with business ethics and monopoly, Google is an extremely innovative company, but they should be a bit ethical since some of their practices either directly or indirectly hinders other competitors.

    All companies engage in practises that hinder their competitors. It's called competition. Is it ethical for a company to issue a rebate? After all, that rebate may 'hinder' other companies by reducing their sales. Is it ethical for a company to offer a bonus if you purchase their product or service?

    Being the dominant force or being a monopoly does not automatically make a company unethical, 'bad' or 'evil'. What evidence do you have that Google has been unethical or abusing its market power?

    Of course comments about Microsoft would be different. Unlike Google, they actually have been found guilty of abusing their dominant position in the consumer OS market.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 5:43am

    Re: US Dept of Justice versus Google

    your a moron.

    its a well known fact, that just about every branch of the government has a problem with cable companies, so you can take comcast and TW out of the list.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 5:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: They hate our freedoms

    "Patrick Lehay(D) just killed your entire argument with one swipe by passing a law forced on US by the RIAA and MPAA. Your response to THAT ?"


    I give you just the brief highlights off the top of my head regarding 6 years of Republican abuse, corruption and malfeasance and all you can come back with is one senator and one bill? LOL yeah, I think that makes my point quite nicely. You can claim your not republican if you want, I say you’re a liar and just too cowardly to admit it (I don’t really blame you, it is pretty embarrassing in light of the last 8 years).

     

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    eleete, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 5:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: They hate our freedoms

    I mention that CONGRESS is controlled by a majority of DEMOCRATS and you have not the decency to respond to THAT. Your approval rating as as abysmal as theirs to me. You try to reduce my comment to one senator ? Clearly you are clueless.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 6:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: They hate our freedoms

    Democrats = Republicans.... they both ignore the US Constitution that they swear to uphold.

     

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    eleete, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 6:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: They hate our freedoms

    Righton !

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 6:06am

    evil!

    Google is the devil in a bunny suit. Google is gaining a monopoly but at the same time they aren't abusing their power... not yet. But really now Google jumped into a business covered in monopolies and started steam rolling everyone with their business practices beating other monopolies that abuse their power and don't adapt to the changing land. There are so many monopolies that take advantage of Americans. Pharmaceuticals and Broadband companies to name a couple. Microsoft is still the leader of the pack in software, sure they are losing ground but it'll probably be better for them if they get smacked around a bit. This is what we call competition, Google has not jumped out of it's bunny suit yet to show the world that it really just wanted to take it over so they could control our minds with google brand neural implants.

     

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    Question, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 6:09am

    Wait.. I see a lot of Republicans hate Google and they want to stop Google from everything and whatever.

    BUT isn't this committee mostly Democrats?

     

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  27.  
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    eleete, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 6:14am

    Re:

    Excellent point. The fact that both parties are present should be what is disturbing. Someone clearly has an agenda against one and for the other, but they are two sides of the same coin.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 6:41am

    I'm so sick of these stupid liberals pointing their fingers at conservatives for all the problems they themselves have made. How can you even admit that you're a liberal? It's like saying I'm a gay loving, baby killing, tax increasing, monster.

     

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    hegemon13, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 6:52am

    Re: I just dont understand

    Their business hinders companies through competition. Those businesses don't have an inherent "right" to be successful. If they can't continue to innovate to compete, Google is not to blame. Point me to a single instance where anything they have done is an antitrust violation. Really, I am not being difficult. If something exists, I would like to know.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 7:04am

    This Republican bashing has got to stop. I'm a Republican in the true sense of the word - I don't affiliate myself with the debauchery you find in office right now. True Republicans believe in SMALLER government and LESS spending. All I've seen these last eight years is the bloating of our government, a waged war that is costing many billions of dollars and more and more corruption.

    Please don't confuse us real Republicans with whatever the hell is in office now - we hate George Bush just as much as the liberals do.

     

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    eleete, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 7:19am

    Re:

    As an independent I admire Ron Paul for those very reasons.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 7:41am

    Re:

    "This Republican bashing has got to stop. I'm a Republican in the true sense of the word - I don't affiliate myself with the debauchery you find in office right now."

    The people who hold executive office now and those who had complete control of the American Government for 6 of the last 8 years were people the Republican party put forth for office. The America of today, is the vision and the result of republican policy and leadership. If you are Republican then take some responsibility for what you have let your party become and what your party has subsequently done to this great nation. I do appreciate that you at least honest enough to be humiliated by the current Republican party.

    To the Ron Paul supporter, while I don’t agree with much of his agenda, I do at least believe he is an honest and principled man. Which obviously means there is no place in todays Republican party for the likes of him.

     

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  33.  
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    eleete, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 7:52am

    Re: Re:

    "The people who hold executive office now and those who had complete control of the American Government for 6 of the last 8 years were people the Republican party put forth for office."

    And who has had control of the legislative branch that passes these laws into effect ? I argue they are one in the same. Regardless of labels. The 'PARTY' is taking rights from constituents. The very PEOPLE who SHOULD be in more control than themselves.

    IANAR but you must do the same and take responsibility for Clinton passing the DMCA too by your own assertion.

     

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    Isaac K (profile), Sep 12th, 2008 @ 7:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: They hate our freedoms

    Congress is controlled by democrats, by the SENATE is being DEADLOCKED by REPUBLICANS who are trying to force a GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN by abusing their large minority power.

    you can't pass a bill with just the congress - the other legislative side has to play nice too. Read up on your Civics.

     

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    Isaac K (profile), Sep 12th, 2008 @ 8:03am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Once again, the legislative branch ISN'T controlled by the democrats. Congress has a Dem. majority, but the SENATE is deadlocked by the REPUBLICANS refusing to allow any bills through and forcing their drilling agenda which does nothing to affect the present accept to give them political ammunition.

     

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    eleete, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 8:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: They hate our freedoms

    I am quite aware of my civics. My point is, that in most all branches of government BOTH republicans and democrats behave similarly. They both push issues unimportant to their constituents, and they both are responsible for injustices and our degrading rights. They ARE one in the same, they are both bought by lobbyists. Hatred leads to erroneous conclusions, and does nothing to alter the situation at hand. WE the PEOPLE must fix government. NOT the other way around.

     

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    eleete, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 8:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Like when Pelosi shuts off the lights while an important issue to the American people is at hand ? I understand the branches thank you. My point is how similarly they BOTH behave. It's a pissing contest and the loser is the American people.

     

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    nukturnal, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 8:12am

    Re: Re: I just dont understand

    Of course comments about Microsoft would be different. Unlike Google, they actually have been found guilty of abusing their dominant position in the consumer OS market. Lets see what you will have to say should GOOGLE BE FOUND GUILTY. Just because your father is found guilty of Killing your mother does not mean he TRUTHFULLY DID and vise-versa

     

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  39.  
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    Anon2, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 8:18am

    antitrust or rhetoric?

    Wow, 30 comments filled with loads of rhetoric, lots of tossing around of the words "monopoly" and even "abuse of power" (presumably abuse of monopoly power, which is a violation of the Sherman Act), but not a single iota of antitrust analysis. hegemon13 asks the correct, and only relevant, question: have they in any instance violated the antitrust laws? Problem is, nobody so far commenting here has much of a clue what answering that question involves. For instance, what is the relevant market? There are a bunch of ways to define that, and answering that (and doing so in a way consistent with the case law and standard economic analysis) is one of the very first questions one must resolve in any antitrust analysis. It is, I am sure, something that the outside counsel DOJ just hired will insist on thoroughly analyzing, because if he decides there is a case to pursue here, it will be his burden to allege and prove a relevant market, and as experienced as he is, he understands that Google will challenge his definition and propose their own.

    And that's just one of the enormous tasks involved in any antitrust dispute.

    I have no doubt that politics are at play here, and that the telecom companies and/or Microsoft and/or others who have trouble competing with Google are in some way behind some of it. But I am also pretty certain that is precisely why DOJ is handing this off to an outside lawyer, one with a pretty huge reputation and loads of experience in antitrust litigation -- so that if he decides to file a lawsuit, it can at least somewhat counter the accusations that this was a purely political move to favor certain industries or interests.

    I like Google, and I love what they have accomplished in just ten short years. But I'm honest enough to admit that I don't possess nearly enough facts even to begin assessing whether or not there is merit to the notion that Google may have violated the antitrust laws, and I've been practicing antitrust law (among other things) for a very long time. (And no, I have no clients with any vested interest in this dispute one way or the other, and usually I'm on the side of the smaller companies going after the huge ones for anticompetitive conduct).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    TheDock22, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 9:02am

    Wait a minute

    I though most of Google's applications were open source? How can they be anti-trust when they allow people free access to their source code and business models? Microsoft got hit with it because they wouldn't play nice with third party vendors and allow them to develop applications to run on Windows. As far as I know, Google relishes any chance to like with a 3rd party vendor.

    I think you're right when you say they are being sued for being too successful.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Pro, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 10:28am

    Hah

    How funny. It's OK when it happens to Microsoft, but when it happens to Google it's a crime.

    The reality is, Microsoft and Google are two companies that are great at what they do and are crushing all of their competition in a free market.

    Lawyers and Politicians see that and lick their chops, then use 'monopoly' as an excuse to plug in their siphon.

    Any of you retards that argue whether it's Republicans or Democrats that are responsible are just tools and help to perpetuate the corruption.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Thomas Ed, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 12:16pm

    Google can't have it both ways

    I hope that the government does go after Google. Back in 2000, the kids of Silicon Valley couldn't compete with Microsoft and the "rich kid" fight move from markets and competition to the courts. Microsoft was never a monopolist, just successful. Google is in the same boat.

    Since Google owns so much search traffic, they need to open up just like Microsoft was forced to open up. Let's look at this. Google complained because the integrated client search in Vista was a feature. They wanted to be there, they complained and now you can "swap" your integrated search feature. Yet, they did not complain about Spotlight or similar features popping up in Linux.

    Well, now it is Google's turn. I want to have my ads pop up next to search results. Since Google is a closed proprietary monopolist, they need to open up their software and services to let other in. I want Ads By Ask next to the results. In fact, I want them to open their search engine such that if I go to Google, I can say I want Live results and then users don't go to Google servers but to Microsoft server.

    They can't have it multiple ways.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    paul descartes, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 12:49pm

    Re: They hate our freedoms

    Is my sarcasm meter broken? If not, WTH are you babbling about? I say what's good for the goose is good for the gander. If Microsoft can be judged as an 'evil' monopolist, then so can Google.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Mad Max, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 6:12pm

    I smell astroturf

    Microsoft and Google are two completely differnent companies which produce varied and different products. They are not the same. Lets not forget that Microsoft is a convicted monopolist. I suspect that Google is the target of a well orchestrated smear compaign.

    Here is an example:

    1) Microsoft coerced most computer manufacturers into only offering a machine with their Operating System installed. It was not available "naked". Hint, not everyone wants Microsoft OS. Hence the Microsoft tax.
    2) Google offers its products for free, and they work on most Operating Systems.

    I think that some folks out there are getting freaked out about their poor business decisions and have conspired to foist upon the market ridiculous charges in a weak attempt at cutting down the competition.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Dan, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 7:24pm

    Is it just a matter of time before Google buys an island and forms Google Nation? That would bring a whole new perspective to outsourcing to California.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Anon2, Sep 13th, 2008 @ 6:59am

    Example

    Well, in today's NYTimes, Joe Nocera writes an interesting article, "Stuck in Google's Doghouse," about one entrepreneur whose problem with Google could be an example of abuse of monopoly power:

    Unfortunately, without knowing more about the behind-the-scenes discussions at Google concerning development and application of this new algorithm, there is no way to tell whether it is an innocent algorithm or something more sinister. But the fact that Google has people with the power to override the algorithm, and the fact that they not only refuse to do so in this guy's case but refuse even to talk to him and help him understand what the issues are, is to me an indication that there is something more to this that warrants deeper investigation.

    And I think Nocera strikes the right tone and nails it when he observes that this is not to say that Google is per se a big bad monopolist, but only that once a company has achieved that sort of market power -- even when they have done it by following all the rules, innovating and out-competing others -- there are temptations to abuse that power in ways that are fundamentally anti-competitive and, perhaps, in violation of the Sherman Act.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Sep 13th, 2008 @ 11:35am

    Re: Hah

    It's OK when it happens to Microsoft, but when it happens to Google it's a crime.

    Actually, we didn't think it was ok when it happened to Microsoft:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20070917/033526.shtml
    http://www.techdirt.com/articl es/20071129/121853.shtml

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Sep 13th, 2008 @ 11:39am

    Re: Google can't have it both ways

    I hope that the government does go after Google. Back in 2000, the kids of Silicon Valley couldn't compete with Microsoft and the "rich kid" fight move from markets and competition to the courts. Microsoft was never a monopolist, just successful. Google is in the same boat.

    So that makes it ok?!?

    Since Google owns so much search traffic, they need to open up just like Microsoft was forced to open up.

    Why?

    Google complained because the integrated client search in Vista was a feature. They wanted to be there, they complained and now you can "swap" your integrated search feature. Yet, they did not complain about Spotlight or similar features popping up in Linux.

    Yes, so Google complains about the competition just as Microsoft does. Both are wrong on that, and we've pointed that out. But that doesn't mean either company deserves to be smacked down for antitrust violations.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2008 @ 10:46am

    #28 - I love the way you equate being gay and killing babies. Yet another example of some right wing freak.

    Here is a thought: If today you go out and try to find the most left wing extremist group, you're going to find a bunch of people living in a commune smoking a sh*t ton of pot. Go out and find the most right wing freaks...you've just found the Klan.
    #28, I assume you are just a racist waiting to happen.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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