Mr. Google Goes To Washington

from the and-sells-out dept

The recent antitrust spat between Google and Microsoft is just part of a broader strategy at Google to cozy up to Washington. Considering the fact that the tech industry hasn't typically had much lobbying clout, the move might be regarded as smart. But on the whole, this can't be regarded as a good development for the industry. Cato Institute director David Boaz has a good essay on how Google is getting sucked into what he calls the "parasite economy" (via Tech Liberaton Front). As he puts it, more of Google's talent and money is now being used to marshal support from Washington, rather than direct competition in the marketplace, which is a losing scenario for everyone (especially consumers) in the long term. You might think that pursuing antitrust issues is a corollary to the fight against the messed up patent system, which has the effect of creating monopolies. But it's just the opposite. Pursuing antitrust cases, like aggressively using patents, is a way of using the auspices of government to stave off the competition. As Google is clearly demonstrating, Microsoft can do very little to stop its advance, and thus its very success undermines any claims that it's up against unfair competition or needs government support.

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  1. identicon
    SailorRipley, 21 Jun 2007 @ 12:58pm


    well, as soon as M$ makes their source code public we can all see and...oh, wait a minute...

    Although I am a big fan of the general principal of innocent until proven guilty (in a court of law), when you play dirty all the time, you're not getting the benefit of doubt every subsequent time something smells fishy.

    (Moreover, even without Microsoft's track record: the source code is proprietary, it's illegal for people to reverse engineer it, so how would anybody find out you did something naughty? very tempting to say the least)

    And I love how the M$ defenders keep insisting M$ is getting forced to amend its product to make things easier for a competitor...(do you guys just not read, or choose to conveniently ignore whatever conflicts with your pro-M$ views?)

    from the NY Times article: The changes to Vista would allow consumers to decide which desktop search program they want to use, and selection of the software from Google or some other company would no longer slow down the computer as it does now. (emphasis mine)

    anybody who gets "forced to make it easier for competitors" from "no longer slow down" is either retarded of shilling...

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