German Official Says It May Be Time To Break Up Google... Just Because
from the huh? dept
As always, when a company gets big, there are reasonable concerns about whether or not it may be abusing market power. But the problem here is that every time anyone actually looks into Google's activities, they find no evidence of it abusing its market power in any way that harms consumers. Some companies tend to get upset that they're not ranked high enough, or that consumers prefer Google's competing services to their own. But there's no evidence of consumer harm at all. The entirety of the antitrust argument against Google seems to be "well, the company is big." And, for some in Europe, it seems to be "the company is big, and based in the US." Again, that's something worth watching, to make sure that Google doesn't abuse its position, but for all the complaints, there never seems to be any evidence showing any actual consumer harm.
As for the argument about breaking up Google... well, good luck with that. I'm curious how Germany breaks up an American company. In fact Gabriel's own spokesperson more or less admitted that Germany had no way to enforce a breakup, but that didn't seem to be worth reconsidering the idea:
"With a breakup of Google the global dimension would naturally raise questions of enforceability," Rouenhoff told reporters in Berlin. "Such a procedure would take a certain amount of time."There are times you think that Google might just be better off saying "okay, fine," and blocking German IPs from reaching its services, just to see how the public would react. To date, Google has always made it clear that it would like to avoid that kind of gamesmanship. But, at times, you wonder if people realize what exactly they're complaining about.