Just As Expected: GDPR Has Made Google Even More Dominant In Europe

from the not-like-we-didn't-warn-you dept

Oh, the EU, will you ever learn? Over the last few years, the EU has been screaming about the awfulness of evil large tech companies in the name of Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple (sometimes called “GAFA”), though in reality, their biggest concerns are focused almost entirely on Google and Facebook. The EU keeps popping up with ridiculous laws, all of which are designed to hit Google and Facebook. The GDPR was a big one, and the latest is the EU Copyright Directive. And there are more as well. Some of us keep pointing out to the EU that if these laws are designed to go after Google and Facebook, they’re going to miss their target quite a bit, because they’ll mostly serve to lock in those companies as the dominant providers. That’s because they’re big enough to manage the regulatory burden, whereas startups and smaller competitors will not be able to and will suffer.

The first bit of data is in on the GDPR and of course it shows that the big winner under the GDPR is… Google. The biggest losers? Smaller competitors to Google. A bit surprisingly, Facebook did see its adtech marketshare decline (while Google’s grew), but relative to everyone else, Facebook sill beat out all other competitors.

Now, the report does note that there are fewer ad trackers for users in the EU — which is certainly a win for users — but the fact that this is further cementing the dominant position of Google and Facebook should be a massive concern to people who value competitive markets and innovation.

This shouldn’t be a surprising result at all. But if part of the goal of the EU is to reduce the reliance on Google and Facebook, the exact opposite is occurring. Just like lots of us predicted.

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Comments on “Just As Expected: GDPR Has Made Google Even More Dominant In Europe”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Repealing?

You are wrong AND a fucking moron.

Stop calling politicians stupid, stop treating them like morons. They KNOW exactly what the fuck they are doing and you are a fucking stupid moron to let them keep tricking YOU into believing they don’t!

They have teams of fucking teams looking this shit over with experts. They KNOW, they FUCKING KNOW!

Stop with this “the people ruling us are morons”. If they are ruling you and they are morons… what the fuck does that make you? A MASSIVE MORON!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Repealing?

Do you need proof of gravity as well?

They are in charge, you are not. And if they are actually morons and still remain in charge, then those they rule over a even greater morons. And if you believe that those ruling over you are morons and are not able to remove them, then you might be the biggest moron of all.

I am no moron, neither are they, the same cannot be said of you, who needs proof that stares them in the face every time the face the law of who is superior to them!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Repealing?

But it’s the truth.

Just because I called you a moron for not noticing it during the tirade does not make it untrue.

You are making the claim that teams upon teams of people writing, analyzing, and voting these laws into place are morons.

Which is more likely? You being a moron, or all of these teams of people with more credentials and education behind them than you?

It seems to me that YOU need to be proving that these folks are morons instead of playing a fancy game of politics beyond your comprehension.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Repealing?

Gravity is easily proven by dropping something.

Are politicians morons? No probably not, but having teams of teams doesn’t mean they understand what they are voting on either or they vote a different way cause ya know a big donor wants them to vote a specific way.

If you don’t think those things happen then you are only fooling yourself.

Derek Kerton (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Experts

There are always two distinct kinds of experts:

1) Experts that are paid shills.

2) People who are well-versed in the subject matter, and have defensible, well-thought out opinions, preferably backed by empirical data (but sometimes not). They have limited bias, and near-zero conflicts-of-interest. They may or may not work full-time in the relevant field.

Guess which group you hear from most in media, policy debates, 24-hr news, think tankery, etc.

Anonymous Coward says:

> Just As Expected: GDPR Has Made Google Even More Dominant In Europe

Sorry to interrupt you here, Mike, but you know the GDPR wasn’t *designed to hit Google and Facebook*. It’s here to protect people’s privacy, not about someone’s dominance. There are other (perhaps stupid) laws targeting that but the GDPR is just a bad example. Why are you picking this?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I’m not sure that it wasn’t designed to hit Google and Facebook, given the overall rhetoric coming out of the EU about “Big Tech” in general.

That aside, GDPR is the big one that’s actually started being fully implemented, and therefore is the one whose effects are now becoming reality. Those effects are, apparently, consolidation of the dominance of Google and Facebook.

Thus, the article is written, noting this is happening, as was predicted in previous articles on the GDPR.

Why pick on this one? Because this is the one that’s happening now, and therefore this is the one that’s currently newsworthy.

Jorey Wrywczski (pronounced "Smith") says:

Old "one data-point" Maz again claiming he's right.

First, show the prior trendline: Was Google gaining before? My bet is yes, and so all that you claim above is falsified, it’d have happened anyway. Possibly has even reduced prior trend.

Masnick — who’s merely rewriting someone else’s work and using their graph — is not going to show context, just rushes out and claims he’s right from one data point, and as usual makes up what NO ONE EVER SAID.

2nd, it’s always possible that Google has all the legislators bought — with a tiny fraction of its easily gotten billions; bribery for statute is by far the most profitable "investment" any corporation ever makes — and that its public opposition is false. Indeed, that’s the way I’d bet.

But that doesn’t actually matter. As an AC already noted, the goal was personal privacy. — Which, I bet is also actually reduced: they’ve just formalized surveillance capitalism, never questioning whether good, it’s a given.

Anyway, IF the goal is to stop Google from taking over all, then more direct means are required, as I’ve already called for, even before GDPR was thought of.

Google and Facebook need broken up because too big. It’s certain Masnick opposes that. Yet above, he’s giving the impression that doesn’t want Google to grow.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Old "one data-point" Maz again claiming he's right.

that “minutia” is what goes into actual laws and creates the need for a bunch of lawyers, long & complicated court proceeding, and tricks morons like YOU into supporting shit you would not support if you were the wiser.

But since you think minutia is pointless… well you deserve getting raped in the ass by big government.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Old "one data-point" Maz again claiming he's right.

“that “minutia” is what goes into actual laws”

What part of said comment can be found within the laws of the land … and do not give me that common law crap.

You assume a lot Mr. KnowItAll. What have I supported, as you claim, that I would not have supported if I was nere not such a moron … as you claim.

“But since you think minutia is pointless… well you deserve getting raped in the ass by big government.”

Oh, its Mr BlameTheVictim – and a sexual voyeur apparently.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Old "one data-point" Maz again claiming he's right.

You are mistaken to call citizens of their own governments victims.

Is a person that commits suicide a victim of them self or the perpetrator? Or are they the perpetrator of their own victimization?

When you give up liberty for a vain promise of protection by a politicians you literally “victimize yourself”. The issue I am having is getting you new age idiots to figure this out. The people from a couple of centuries ago figured this out, how is it that you cannot? Especially having access to their writings and history itself to a degree that even they never had?

You have such a wealth of knowledge at your disposal and yet you use it not! Instead you sit by and let people with potentially greater amounts of ignorance than yourself tell you what to do? Oh… and you even vote for them as well.

While each citizen on their own, may not be complicit in the tyranny their government visits upon them, the are most definitely collectively “responsible” for it, and are no longer victims, but instead perpetrators!

bob says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Old "one data-point" Maz again claiming he's right.

So the people in office that potentially have greater ignorance are not morons but we are for pointing out the politicians aare morons?!?

Sounds like you are becoming inconsistent with your rants. As is evident by your own words. Is that a good enough example or do you need proof of gravity too?

Anonymous Coward says:

haha.. yo mean when will Mike learn?

“Oh, the EU, will you ever learn?”

You mean when will TD, Mike, and the “Regulate all the Things” folks will learn?

Keep at it, no amount of good will, or best intentions, or details are going to save you. Politicians will only hear one thing from your filthy sewers… “TAKE more power and REGULATE businesses under the GUISE of helping the little person, while actually NOT HELPING!

I keep telling you over and over and over again the story of how Politicians have learned how to TAKE from you and also get you to LOVE them for it!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Two anonymous cowards slinging insults. What useful conversation. Y’all realize this is worthless, and may as well be spam?

Could either of you, or anyone, really, actually make a point without immediately falling to baseless insults against anyone and everyone that doesn’t agree with them?

Of course I won’t be surprised if I get called a turd-monkey or something similarly pointless just for asking for some basic civility.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

You make a good point, the problem is that no one here is innocent of your claims. Making it a pointless effort to get people to behave the way you want them to behave.

Decorum is often a form of control itself, and people instinctively know this and refuse to be controlled and often times these juvenile events take place.

Is it really worth it to break off chatter just because someone said something offensive? If you do, you are just asking for war after that. Best to endure them and possibly… have a little fun with them as well.

Chip says:

Re: Re: haha.. yo mean when will Mike learn?

That is “not” how you Spell Paint “chips” you stupid Moron!

Why is Everybody at “techdirt” so Stupid! Stupid! Morons! Knobs!

Not SMART like “me”. I know how to Spell things. Like PAINT CHIPS! I also know “many” things, like both Partes are the “same”, and all Regulations are BAD! Because I am SMAT! So much Smarter than “you” Syophants! You can “tell” that I am Smart because I always talk about how “smart” I “am”, which is what Smart people DO!

In Conclusion Yes I ate my “paint Chips” this Morning. They were made with Lead, the way “god” Intended, even though GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS keep Interfering with the “Free Market” and Punishing companis for selling “leaded Paint”.


When will you “Morons” Learn! Stop “egulating” Everything! Let the Free “market” Decide whether Paint should have “lead” in IT!

Every Nation eats the Paint chips it Deserves!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: haha.. yo mean when will Mike learn?

it rally no impotent to bodder wid mackin sur dat evywon popery smells dings purfetly beekuz nindiots wike u r knot werf de tyme to expain dings two!

If someone makes a simple mistake it is not important. Almost everyone has browsers that will auto correct or corrupt the things they type, additionally some folks are in a rush and do not have the time to spell and syntax check what they post.

Stop being a knob! O wait, I am talking to the paint chip eater… ha h ahaaa!

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: haha.. yo mean when will Mike learn?

You mean when will TD, Mike, and the "Regulate all the Things" folks will learn?

Why do you continue to falsely claim we believe "regulate all the things"? We have regularly fought against all sorts of bad regulations — including this one. We tend to support very few regulations for the very reason that you point out — that they tend to do the opposite of what they claim to to do.

You keep claiming we believe "regulate all the things" for one reason only: because we have explained why we support a single extremely limited type of regulations: around net neutrality. Yet, we have explained in great detail why that is one reasonable exception to our general rule of being wary of unnecessary regulation.

And, you, yourself, admit that you have exceptions as well — specifically you have said that you support antitrust efforts. so you do support some small regulation, just as we support some small regulation. I don’t go around insulting you and saying you’re part of the "regulate all the things" crowd. Why must you continue to do that to us? I’ve explained this to you before, yet you continue to lie about us. Why is that?

John Smith says:

“Safety is too expensive.”

That’s about what the argument against large-scale moderation boils down to. I think the GDPR is more about protecting individual privacy and reputation than it I sabout the big internet companies who chose to trample on those concerns in the name of profit. People say repealing Section 230 would destroy the internet as we know it, but that would be the idea, since the internet should never have been built out this way. Moderation at scale would just create more jobs and spread the wealth anyway, not put anyone out of business.

Google is dominant because they pay their content creators 68 percent of the revenue. I always thought GoPro should buy Vimeo and tie it to their camera because they have a related product and actual expertise but they never did it. That would create a competitor. Perhaps Polaroid will do this since they seem to be reinventing themselves.

I think where Google is concerned people impute an evil motive when they really just don’t care. Facebook seems to meddle a bit more and Twitter definitely acts more like a publisher than a platform, but I don’t see the same problem at Google. Of course this is just my opinion based on what I’ve seen though I have seen a bit.

I also don’t care if Googlel “sponsors” this site. They sponsor just about everything, sometimes even sites which criticize Google. Whether you love or hate Google, they want to monetize your participation in discussions related to that. while I don’t like that they don’t regulate searches better and allow harm to come to individuals, they are extremely consistent with their policies in a way the other big companies are not.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The real question is, will you still hold this same toon if Google being to flex it’s muscles an aserts more control over the internet. It already does by way of the “revenue” channels.

If people want your advertising dollars, but will never advertise with you if you are seen to hold certain values then who is in control? You either do what they say or lose revenue. That old saying… “Money talks, and the bullshit walks” really does mean something in these regards.

Google now has power over both revenue and data many sites are seeking to use to maximize on both that revenue and data.

And I for one while being “generally” anti-regulation completely agree with strong anti-monopoly and anti-trust regulations. We don’t profit under monopolies… too many eggs and powers in one basket. It creates despots the same way it always does.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Moderation at scale would just create more jobs and spread the wealth anyway, not put anyone out of business.

Not even Google has the money and space to hire out, train, and keep tabs on the several hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people that would be necessary for proper scaled moderation of YouTube. And you literally cannot guarantee that every person hired under such an initiative would all act under the exact same guidelines and come to the exact same conclusions about specific content.

Gary (profile) says:

Re: Re: Moderate

Moderation at scale would just create more jobs and spread the wealth anyway, not put anyone out of business.

Even assuming Google could hire the hundreds of thousands of people needed to scan every single comment – this would be the most uneven and arbitrary enforcement I can envision. A Hundred Thousand people all doing their own thing with a set of guidelines.

Obviously you don’t understand the problems. But you have plenty of answers!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Moderation at scale would just create more jobs and spread the wealth anyway, not put anyone out of business.

Moderation at scale is an impossible task, because when at least half the world population is online and growing, what percentage of them do you employ as moderators, how do you ensure that they do a proper job, and where do you get the money to pay them.Also at that scale, how do you stop special interest groups gaining control over parts of moderation, and using that to advance their own agenda.

Instead, why not give end users the tools that they need to carry out their own moderation. Like allow users to set up black lists of people/channels they do not want to see content from.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

This is doubtful, keep in mind that the GDPR only protects from businesses trading data outside of their organizations.

Google is in an extraordinary position of being the “Controller” and “Processor” of the data in many cases, even though that is not supposed to be possible. They get “loophole” like protections from the GDPR that others do not get. Not only that but many people already agree to the terms that Google grants and more and more sites are asking up front if you agree to let them use your data before you can even enter their site.

The GDPR, like most other legislation will come off as helping the big businesses at the expense of the small businesses that don’t have the resources to comply with these burdensome laws the way bigger players can.

ShadowNinja (profile) says:

Honestly, Facebook’s decline in numbers had more to do with their downward trend then GDPR.

Facebook’s number of active users have been declining for several years in the US, where it first took off. Europe and the rest of the world is a few years or more behind the US on Facebook, so it’s only natural that their declines in users and ad revenue will start a few years later as well.

ECA (profile) says:

Waiting for it..

For Google to Charge for 2 things..
You want to be forgotten, PAY FOR OUR PEOPLE TO RUN THREW YOUR HISTORY AND DROP IT ALL…$0.10 per link..

OK, newspapers…you want more users?? We got in trouble and now have to pay TAX for this, so NOW you get to pay 2 times that tax for us to LINK TO YOU..

OH!, and if Bing excite and the other search engines ARNT PAYING…we will sue the WHOLE EU..

Let the games begin..

Anonymous Coward says:

It is a bit early to conclude anything within half a year of a law that is barely implemented in most of europe and hasn’t build any kind of case-law yet.

Add in that it wasn’t meant to curtail Google, but to make it possible to target some of the most questionable actors in the industry like Cambridge Analytica.

Today Cambridge Analytica may run afoul of some consumer protection laws and get a small slap there, but nothing special.
They have no doubt done something that deserves a civil suit. The problem is that you need standing to sue Cambridge Analytica and in a tighter organisation they wouldn’t have spilled the beans needed for a civil suit. Yes, GDPR has some problematic and stupid content like implementation of RTBF, but overall, the legislation would make Kogan liable for his delivery of data to Cambridge Analytica, it would have made the data-collection from the app illegal and it would make Cambridge Analytica liable for the way they used the data. That it strenghtens Googles dpminance in the short term is irrelevant as long as what happens in the future on the data-collection front will be less obscure and involve less spammers, back-door creaters, adware sellers etc. While it is a crude tool so far, the potential for improving the responsibility in that criminally infested sector is a good thing overall.

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