Bill Barr's Google 'Antitrust Inquiry' Is A Weaponized Farce

from the unserious-people dept

Last month we noted how Bill Barr was rushing DOJ staffers (much to their chagrin) to launch his "antitrust inquiry" into Google. Why? Three reasons. One, it helps Trump allies and Google adversaries like "big telecom," Oracle, and Rupert Murdoch. Two, it helps put the utterly false narrative of "social media unfairly censors Conservatives" into headlines during an election. And three, it creates leverage over companies that have finally just begun to take online hate speech and disinformation (a cornerstone of Trumpism) seriously. Genuine concerns about "monopoly power" are the last thing on these folks' minds.

Right on cue, Bill Barr this morning announced that the Department of Justice is suing Google, claiming that the company's anticompetitive practices in arenas such as search "have had harmful effects on competition and consumers." The initial press release compares Google's dominance to historical natural monopolies of note, such as 80's era AT&T:

"The antitrust laws protect our free market economy and forbid monopolists from engaging in anticompetitive practices. They also empower the Department of Justice to bring cases like this one to remedy violations and restore competition, as it has done for over a century in notable cases involving monopolists over other critical industries undergirding the American economy like Standard Oil and the AT&T telephone monopoly. Decades ago the Department’s case against Microsoft recognized that the antitrust laws forbid anticompetitive agreements by high-technology monopolists to require preinstalled default status, to shut off distribution channels to rivals, and to make software undeletable. The Complaint alleges that Google is using similar agreements itself to maintain and extend its own dominance."

You're to ignore that this is the same Bill Barr DOJ and Trump administration that has rubber stamped every last fleeting whim of natural telecom monopolies (like the recent T-Mobile merger). Monopolies like Comcast that, unlike search, leave consumers trapped in punitive, expensive relationships they simply cannot opt out of. The DOJ's announcement was launched in cooperation with a handful of GOP states, apparently because many other states -- many of which are pursuing their own inquiries into legitimate problems at Google -- didn't think much of Billy Barr's rushed effort.

Many lawyers don't think much of the effort either, noting that the rushed complaint is, as you might expect, filled with odd misses and whiffs. Like here, where the DOJ attempts to claim that Google's efforts to reduce smartphone and device bloatware imposed by wireless carriers is something that should be illegal:

Others were quick to note that Google's effectively being lambasted by Barr's DOJ because its search engine -- which, unlike telecom, consumers can choose not to use -- is extremely popular:

Again, that's because this is being driven by cronyism and election season politics, not a serious concern about monopoly power. Worse, while the DOJ's announcement will be applauded by well-intentioned folks eager to see Google's power knocked down a peg, tackling Google's domination in a politicized, half-assed fashion could actually make it harder to hold Google accountable down the line. The DOJ of course wants to have its cake and eat it too, providing Trump with election season fodder while breathlessly insisting that's not what's happening:

"So, I think it's fair to say, this case has nothing to do with that subject," [Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey] Rosen said. "This is an antitrust case about competitive conditions in the marketplace, and as I said earlier, it's been a matter of nonpartisan, bipartisan, kind of across-the-board interest."

To be very clear, there's plenty of things Google does (especially on the advertising end) that can be deemed anticompetitive, inconsistent, and infuriating, many of which could use a serious good faith inquiry. But folks like Bill Barr and the GOP mainstays applauding this inquiry don't genuinely care about monopoly power, unchecked corporate power, or the downsides of consolidation. They simply don't. The DOJ (under both parties) pretty consistently doesn't either:

Mindless rubber stamping of megamergers and flimsy antitrust enforcement is what the United States does. It's our biggest pastime outside of baseball. The one Trump example usually trotted out to claim otherwise, AT&T's lawsuit to stop the AT&T Time Warner merger, was more about pissing off CNN for Trump and helping Rupert Murdoch than any serious concern about media consolidation. Rupert wanted the deal blocked after Time Warner first rebuffed his merger affections in 2014, and AT&T rejected his offer to buy CNN twice in 2017. It's extremely likely he's the motivating force in this effort as well.

So despite what folks like Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz would have you believe, there's no evidence that monopoly power has ever been a genuine concern for the modern Trump GOP (simply look at its treatment of telecom, airlines, banks, and countless other heavily consolidated and monopolized sectors that routinely churn out a steady stream of consumer and competitor nightmares). And yet folks who've built entire careers on the backs of not giving a flying shit about corporate power, consolidation, and monopolization will now get to spend two weeks before an election pretending otherwise:

Why look at all the very serious, good faith, anti-monopolists just super and genuinely concerned about mindless consolidation and corporate power:

The idea that Jordan, Cruz, or Cotton genuinely care about corporate power, monopolies, or U.S. antitrust enforcement is laughable, and it's astonishing that anybody could take this performative stage play seriously. While they're doing their best to pantomime genuine concern, these gentlemen see the vilification of "big tech" as a matter of political convenience, providing leverage in their ongoing efforts to force the carriage of political disinformation, with the added perk that it's of great benefit to GOP megadonors and longstanding GOP allies like Rupert, AT&T, and Oracle.

Again, reporting indicates that while there may have been some kernels of good faith intention at the heart of the inquiry, Barr quickly got to work politicizing the effort -- and rushing it against the wishes of staff so it could be used as election season fodder. Trampling the law and government integrity for his authoritarian boss is what Bill Barr does. It's unclear how many examples are needed for the message to get through. Barr and friends should no longer enjoy the benefit of the doubt.

It's a lot like the sordid TikTok affair, which had more to do with cronyism (nabbing Oracle a hosting deal) and political convenience (amplifying xenophobia) than any genuine concern about consumer privacy or internet security. Bill Barr's inquiry is politicized bad faith bullshit dressed up as serious adult policy making, and it's relatively astonishing how many folks (including both of the country's biggest cable news outlets and numerous tech reporters) literally can't tell the difference, or be bothered to include even the faintest hint of context that the investigation may not be entirely on the up and up.

Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: antitrust, bill barr, doj, monopolies
Companies: google


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    ECA (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 12:53pm

    Why?

    "anticompetitive practices. "

    "undergirding the American economy like Standard Oil and the AT&T telephone monopoly. "

    Anti-competitive or NOT wanting to compete? Wont spend the money to compete? Wants to keep the High CEO/OWNER profit margins? Dont understand whats needed to compete with companies that have been there 20+ years ALREADY.

    These are bill collectors rather then developers.

    Standard oil? Look that up, please. They just change their name every time something bad happens. I think their current name is BP(?).
    ATT, is funny. It divided up into many little companies and then played a game of WHO owns WHOM. A card game between 4-5 corps, buying back and forth until it was so confusing, even the gov. hasnt figured it out yet.

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

    • icon
      R.H. (profile), 21 Oct 2020 @ 10:24am

      Re: Why?

      Standard Oil is still at least four separate companies.

      Chevron (formed from Standard Oil of Kentucky and Standard Oil of California), ExxonMobil (formed from Standard Oil of New York and Standard Oil of New Jersey), BP (British Petroleum acquired Standard Oil of Indiana [renamed Amoco] and The Standard Oil Company [Ohio]), and lastly Marathon (simply renamed from The Ohio Oil Company).

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

      • icon
        ECA (profile), 21 Oct 2020 @ 12:35pm

        Re: Re: Why?

        Defunct
        After its dissolution in 1911, the original Standard Oil Co. split into Sohio (now part of BP); ESSO (now Exxon); and SOcal (now Chevron)

        with the dissolution of the Standard Oil trust into 34 smaller companies, Rockefeller became the richest person in modern history

        BP's origins date back to the founding of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company in 1908, established as a subsidiary of Burmah Oil Company to exploit oil discoveries in Iran. In 1935, it became the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and in 1954, adopted the name British Petroleum.[8][9] In 1959, the company expanded beyond the Middle East to Alaska and it was one of the first companies to strike oil in the North Sea. British Petroleum acquired majority control of Standard Oil of Ohio in 1978. Formerly majority state-owned, the British government privatised the company in stages between 1979 and 1987. British Petroleum merged with Amoco in 1998, becoming BP Amoco plc, and acquired ARCO and Burmah Castrol in 2000, becoming BP plc in 2001. From 2003 to 2013, BP was a partner in the TNK-BP joint venture in Russia.

        BP PLC, formerly called Anglo-Persian Oil Company, Ltd. (1909–35), Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, Ltd. (1935–54), British Petroleum Company Limited (1954–82), British Petroleum Company PLC (1982–98), and BP Amoco (1998–2000)

        https://www.cbsnews.com/news/bp-and-iran-the-forgotten-history/

        Have a quick read. its part of it.

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 12:57pm

    'Look, it's simple: If it helps us, it's good. If not, bad.'

    Trump's GOP and DOJ: We care deeply about preventing monopolies... when they're not in our favor. If they are then we can't support them fast enough.

    A DOJ and party that can't get enough of monopolies just now decides to rush an 'investigation' into a company that the party has been holding up as a boogieman to con the gullible and they want people to think that it has nothing to do with politics? The idea that this whole trainwreck isn't a political hitjob/PR stunt is about as believable as claiming that Trump rallies aren't political, with the only thing sadder than the claims the fact that there are people gullible/stupid enough to believe them.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2020 @ 1:03pm

    If it looks like a monopoly, swims like a monopoly and quacks like a monopoly, it's probably a monopoly.

    If it looks like a dumbshit, walks like a dumbshit and quacks like a dumbshit, it's probably Jim Jordan.

    Hopefully, in 14 days we'll be at the start of better things, whether that will include a legitimate inquiry as to whether Google is a monopoly and action should be taken that remains to be seen. But, frankly, I'll take a demotion of Ajit Pai as a win absent this.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2020 @ 1:40pm

      Re:

      If it looks like a monopoly, swims like a monopoly and quacks like a monopoly, it's probably a monopoly.

      But a monopoly in what? In mobile phone stuff, maybe—can one realistically use non-Apple mobile phones without a Google account? They have about 80% of the market last I checked, and I've heard that some apps won't work without the proprietary Google services available. But saying their search engine is anticompetitive is perplexing.

      The first Google result for "search engine" is "17 Great Search Engines You Can Use Instead of Google"; then a couple of German results for some reason, then Startpage and a Wikipedia page. Google have paid Apple and others for promotion, but it's super easy to switch to a bunch of others. I can't think of many things with less lock-in than search engines. (I switched from Altavista to Google after using it once, then to DuckDuckGo when Google started banning anonymous access. Didn't take a minute to update the bookmark.) Barr using this as an example of anticompetitive behavior can be seen as a shibboleth of a low-quality lawsuit and/or Barr's unfamiliarity with the market.

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

      • icon
        ECA (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 5:02pm

        Re: Re:

        But have you compared MSN.
        HORRIBLE.

        Goggle did something, and kept improving it. They have gone abit overboard, with adverts, and tracking. But HOW can it get worse?
        LEt others into the system or create THEIR OWN.

        90% of adverts is the advert. And then paying someone to broadcast it. If the others want in,m let them try at a CHEAPER cost.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2020 @ 5:26pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          But have you compared MSN. HORRIBLE.

          You mean Bing? I've used it and got OK results. Some with DuckDuckGo. I'm usually banned from Google Search so don't do direct comparisons.

          But what does product quality have to do with anything? Being better than the competition is not generally considered market abuse.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2020 @ 5:15pm

        Re: Re:

        Cory Doctorow, on the way that monopolists try to bullshit their way out of being defined a monopoly:

        For example, they perfected the idea of the "market definition" defense. You hear this with Amazon, when Bezos tells Congress that Amazon isn't a monopoly because people buy stuff at Walmart. By including "Walmart" (or every time in which goods change hands for money) in the definition of Amazon's market, Amazon can make itself out to be a bit-player.

        Google is a monopoly. It engages in monopolistic behavior. Just because I can use Bing as an alternative doesn't absolve Google of engaging in shitty tactics to keep the market cornered in their favor. Just Ctrl+F "Google" on this Ars Technica Article and see the laundry list of issues.

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

        • icon
          Samuel Abram (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 5:28pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          And do you know what Cory Doctorow's solution is?

          Adversarial Interoperability, not Quixotic lawsuits.

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

          • icon
            Samuel Abram (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 5:33pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Or rather, I should've said that the Sherman Anti-Trust act is not listed among those options.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2020 @ 5:51pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I know that lawsuit's like Barr's aren't the solution, and that Cory advocates for Adversarial Interoperability. But he also seems to be quite fine and dandy with trustbusting, and Adversarial Interoperability being used as one of the many tools to get us to a place, culturally and politically, that we can break them up.

            If the courts frustrate the Justice Department and the president, the next stop would be Congress, which could eliminate any doubt about how antitrust law should be enforced in the U.S. by passing new laws that boil down to saying, “Knock it off. We all know what the Sherman Act says. Robert Bork was a deranged fantasist. For avoidance of doubt, fuck that guy.” In other words, the problem with monopolies is monopolism — the concentration of power into too few hands, which erodes our right to self-determination. If there is a monopoly, the law wants it gone, period. Sure, get rid of monopolies that create “consumer harm” in the form of higher prices, but also, get rid of other monopolies, too.

            But this only prevents things from getting worse. To help them get better, we will have to build coalitions with other activists in the anti-monopoly ecology movement — a pluralism movement or a self-determination movement — and target existing monopolies in every industry for breakup and structural separation rules that prevent, for example, the giant eyewear monopolist Luxottica from dominating both the sale and the manufacture of spectacles.

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

            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 21 Oct 2020 @ 2:26am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              " But he also seems to be quite fine and dandy with trustbusting, and Adversarial Interoperability being used as one of the many tools to get us to a place, culturally and politically, that we can break them up."

              It's more like Adversarial Interoperability opens the market for other services and the monopoly goes away - in theory - on its own when you no longer need to chain yourself to the single monolithic entity holding all the cards.

              There's a caveat there of course - Google produces products and services which work. It's why they beat all their predecessors. Any sensible antitrust can only open the market for someone else to do the same. But that requires that "someone else" to actually come along. And it's not as if the latest ten or twenty years have exactly incentivized innovation.

              What Barr is doing, however, is not antitrust. It's a shit-show of a vendetta meant not to force Google to open the market but to eliminate the possibility of any other services to provide what google currently provides.

              It may be a sign of the times that the overwhelming majority of times when a politician, lobbyist or astroturfer says anything about some popular online service what they really mean is "Give us a Red Flag Act, Please!".

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2020 @ 5:48pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Just Ctrl+F "Google" on this Ars Technica Article and see the laundry list of issues.

          CTRL+F on page 1 finds nothing interesting, so the correct link would be to page 2:
          https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/10/house-amazon-facebook-apple-google-have-monopoly-powe r-should-be-split/2/

          They note that Google Search promotes various other Google services. That seems a fair point for antitrust action: Google uses its dominance in Search to gain/maintain dominance in other markets. But the article doesn't really say what's alleged to be improper. There are three highlighted portions, one linking to non-Google articles; another providing questions and answers (this not being any Google service I'm aware of); and the third linking to Youtube, Spotify, Apple Music, Facebook, etc. (it being unclear how "preferred" Youtube generally is). I see no obvious advertisements. They could certainly make their point better.

          The other complaint is that Google is using its monopoly in mobile telephony to prop up its search business. I.e., the monopolisitic behavior is in Android rather than Search. I don't dispute that.

          Then there's the monopoly in advertising, which I believe a strong antitrust case could be built on.

          Not listed there are the ways Google Chrome has been found to ignore privacy settings only for certain Google services. The browser has enough market share that this could be considered damning evidence of anticompetitive behavior.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2020 @ 7:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Given just how many alternatives there are to googl and how easy it is to switch to them, Google cannot possibly be said to be a Monopoly.

          If Google were to say, require people to view unslippable adverts before the veiw the search results, how long do you think they'd keep their market position?

          Can you think another market sector where the dominant player can change so quickly?

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

          • icon
            BernardoVerda (profile), 21 Oct 2020 @ 2:53pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            For consumers, Google isn't a monopoly, in that it's fairly trivial (aside from a propensity for uninstallable search bars in Android) to switch to something else (I've been happily relying on DuckDuckGo for years).

            But I gather that for advertisers and/or businesses wishing to advertise, the situation is significantly different, and that Google may have, if not a total monopoly, then at least an "effective monopoly" on that market.

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

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 21 Oct 2020 @ 9:04pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Google may have, if not a total monopoly, then at least an "effective monopoly" on that marketT

              You'd be wrong with that assumption:

              https://www.forbes.com/sites/bradadgate/2020/06/22/in-a-first-google-ad-revenue-expected -to-drop-in-2020-despite-growing-digital-ad-market/

              Google and Facebook have been referred to as a "duopoly" as they controlled around 60% of the market, but that is apparently changing. If you look specifically at search rather than all marketing it was a bit higher on its own (although is 61.5% a "monopoly" position?) but they are losing ground from what it appears.

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

            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 22 Oct 2020 @ 4:51am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "But I gather that for advertisers and/or businesses wishing to advertise, the situation is significantly different..."

              Rapidly changing but it's a fact that online advertising is a market which requires a great deal of technical skill to pull off properly.

              And that's a problem because if you are a great programmer today you aren't a guy in a basement with a plan. You probably already work for Google; or are driving the next Linux kernel, or telling Microsoft how to replace their shoddy legacy shit with open source the best way...
              If you are a good programmer then you have steady work. It may be as "glamorous" as sitting in Tucson, Texas and reprogramming obsolete traffic systems but hey, there's a paycheck in it.
              If you are merely mediocre you either end up doing tech support for life, which merits the question whether the Hague Tribunal knows of this - or you borrow a lot of money to get licensed to SAP or Oracle and spend as many years as your conscience will hold charging companies locked into those business models unreal rates for chimp work.

              Google had a running start because the competitors it set out to displace were best described as early betas; betas which were desperate to find revenue streams, to the point where - as I recall - the popup blocker was the very first add-on to gain significant traction in the browser segment when you could visit some sites and find your PC stalling and your modem choking over a dozen or more popup frames all containing more gáuche bling than you'd find hanging on all the rap artists of the early 80's.

              Google changed that whole landscape. Consumers got a great search engine. Advertisers got access to targeted advertising and a sensible scale of pricing with less need to just swarm every potential customer with a bullhorn and a pamphlet.
              Yahoo, Alta Vista, Lycos simply didn't work that well, and had very little business model underpinning their search engine.

              Today that's all different. Yeah, once Google starts screwing up - by letting their marketing department own their techies once too many times, or by making sufficient bad decisions to dilute the brand, or by getting legislated out of functionality - that is when the gap opens for the next competitor to take the throne.

              Right now, though, Google is still a tough act to follow. It's a bit hard to imagine outcompeting them in convenience, accuracy, or technological skill. At the same time it's hard to imagine splitting them up, because in the end what they have is the brand, the skill, and the search engine/advertising algorithms. Almost everything else people think of as "google" is either freeware or full open source.

              Forcing Adversarial Interoperability on Google may be the only way to open the market without taking steps which rolls the online environment back to 1980 as a side result...

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

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 22 Oct 2020 @ 5:35am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "Yahoo, Alta Vista, Lycos simply didn't work that well, and had very little business model underpinning their search engine."

                Erm, I'd disagree here. The biggest problem with most of those early sites is that they weren't focussed on search, they were focussed on "portals". So, you'd go there, get a mess of everything from news to dating sites to email to forums, and some of them depended on human-curated lists of sites rather than an actual search.

                This is why Google destroyed everyone early on. Instead of a mess of 100 things competing with your attention, you got the Google logo and a search box. The search worked, and they were so confident they even had the "I feel lucky" box that took you to the first search result. People loved it because it gave them what they wanted with zero distractions.

                The other sites had business models underpinning them, they were just so unfocussed and messy to look at that a single product that worked was able to beat them quickly.

                "Right now, though, Google is still a tough act to follow. It's a bit hard to imagine outcompeting them in convenience, accuracy, or technological skill"

                Well, now we get to what you think "Google" means today. There's many valid criticisms of the main search product that could be vulnerable to the same disruption if someone can find the niche. Then, Google is not longer just that. It's an ad company, a phone manufacturer, an email prover, a map maker, an AI car developer, a cloud services provider. You can't disrupt the whole thing, but they make mistakes, as evidenced by their many failures trying to break into the social networking sphere.

                You can't beat the entire company overnight, but there was a point when Yahoo and AOL seemed unshakeable as the entry gateways to the web as well.

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

                • icon
                  Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 23 Oct 2020 @ 1:15am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "Erm, I'd disagree here. The biggest problem with most of those early sites is that they weren't focussed on search, they were focussed on "portals". So, you'd go there, get a mess of everything from news to dating sites to email to forums, and some of them depended on human-curated lists of sites rather than an actual search."

                  Matter of viewpoint. From where I'm standing they didn't work that well, since they mainly led to walled gardens and a whole lot of advertising. They may have been perfectly good hand rakes but what the market called on was a steamroller - and they were notoriously bad at filling that niche, as you point out;

                  "Instead of a mess of 100 things competing with your attention, you got the Google logo and a search box."

                  "You can't beat the entire company overnight, but there was a point when Yahoo and AOL seemed unshakeable as the entry gateways to the web as well."

                  One massive difference between Yahoo, AOL, and Google is that Google is built around dynamic change. Yahoo and AOL operate like SAP - you pour the business model like concrete around your goals and are then stuck completely trying to adapt or adjust.
                  Googles service expansion has shown - and keeps showing - that they are not afraid to retool their business at the drop of a hat, or the wild idea of an engineer.

                  This has hurt Google quite a lot - witness all the truncated "would have been" projects which led nowhere - but is also what has allowed them to expand all over a market which appears to have forgotten, as a whole, that innovation exists.

                  What will - instantly - destroy Google is when they eventually settle and start running their business like everyone else does, because at that point all they'll have is a small range of IP and a lot of lawyers. Like SAP and Oracle.

                  At that point there will be a couple of guys in a garage somewhere noticing a lot of the market is fertile land. At which point Google will march the same tired old trail of its predecessors right to washington to ask for a Red Flag Act against the uppity new kid outrunning the tired old man.

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

                  • icon
                    PaulT (profile), 23 Oct 2020 @ 1:50am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "From where I'm standing they didn't work that well, since they mainly led to walled gardens and a whole lot of advertising"

                    Yes, my point is that despite your claim above they did have a business model underpinning them. It wasn't necessarily a great one, and it's something that disappeared quite rapidly once Google attracted people to them and they found better alternatives to all the stuff that kept them going back to Yahoo or Lycos while they were searching, but it was a business model.

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

  • icon
    virusdetected (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 1:17pm

    Antitrust or Distrust?

    As you point out, this is just theater. But one of the things that the current administration has accomplished is to cause a lot of people to distrust science, professional competence, education, and intelligence (real, not claimed). Now they want us to distrust innovation that leads to wild success.

    I've been using the Internet since 1993. It was pretty lonely then, and there wasn't much need for a search engine. As sites began popping up a few mediocre search services appeared, but they weren't easy to use. Eventually Yahoo launched and it was better than anything else. But...then Google appeared, and it was far superior. Today we would say that it uses "crowdsourcing" to improve the results, although that term didn't exist in 1998. The real genius of the Google business plan was the intent to sell every word in the dictionary, in every language, multiple times! That turned out to be extremely valuable to advertisers.

    Every year Google makes thousands of improvements to its search engine. I've compared searches on Google and Bing, and Google wins almost every time.
    On the downside, Google has increasingly favored its own sites and generous advertisers, so it requires some effort to sort out the real search results from the "paid" search results. I find that annoying, but I don't consider it illegal.

    Along the way Google has used its enormous profits to do what any good business executive would do: expand the business, and its value to users, by either inventing or acquiring services that extended its capabilities or met other customer needs and relied upon Google's enormous compute capabilities. The DOJ never raised an eyebrow!

    I'm sure there are some of Google's business practices that may give them a competitive advantage. I would applaud any effort to address those, but attacking the entire company is nonsense. What's being attacked is successful American innovation, which we need to celebrate and preserve.

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

    • icon
      crade (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 2:29pm

      Re: Antitrust or Distrust?

      "professional competence"
      they are basically against anyone who puts in an honest effort at anything and pro bullshit con artists and armchair quarterbacks.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Koby (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 1:25pm

    Pretty Clear

    "Two things can both be true: Bill Barr is a corrupt Trump crony who shouldn't be AG, and @TheJusticeDept has the power to pursue a legit antitrust suit against Google. The case is clear – in fact, it could have gone further." -Senator Elizabeth Warren

    Even the administration's biggest critics are cheering the decision. Let's give credit where credit is due. Monopolies need to be broken up to prevent additional harm.

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

    • icon
      Samuel Abram (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 1:37pm

      Re: Pretty Clear

      Um, Koby? Elizabeth Warren has been criticized by Techdirt before. This is not the dunk that you think it is. Mike Masnick is not a doctrinaire Democrat, Liberal, or Leftist, and he will definitely criticize those people. Try again.

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

      • icon
        Koby (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 1:46pm

        Re: Re: Pretty Clear

        But of the critics of the administration, there are fewer more long-term and prominent opponents. You need to be a real sourball to dislike today's announcement!

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

        • icon
          crade (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 2:39pm

          Re: Re: Re: Pretty Clear

          Yay, more transparent corrupt bullshit from trump. Hurt Google because their search engine is doing better than their endless line of competitors past and present.

          There is obviously no monopoly as everyone knows they could choose the competition any time they wanted. People who want to bring down google for other agenda's than anti trust will be happy, and putin will be happy, sourball or not. Me I'd prefer they went after someone actually doing something anti-competitive instead of just being good at what they do

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

        • icon
          bhull242 (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 2:43pm

          Re: Re: Re: Pretty Clear

          I do because it’s dumb. The complaint is severely lacking in good antitrust arguments and actually is self-refuting.

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

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 2:46pm

          Re: Re: Re: Pretty Clear

          You need to be a real sourball to dislike today's announcement!

          Strange way to spell 'not a gullible sucker who falls for blatantly obvious political stunts', but you do you I guess.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2020 @ 4:29pm

          Re: Re: Re: Pretty Clear

          Right. One needs to be a sourball to take issue with lying, bad faith, performative claptrap with the weight of the federal government behind it.

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 21 Oct 2020 @ 2:31am

          Re: Re: Re: Pretty Clear

          "You need to be a real sourball to dislike today's announcement!"

          Why?

          Sure, it'll be good news - great, even - for other countries than the US if Google has to leave the US and move their offices elsewhere when Barr makes the precedent that being too innovative and successful in the US is a no-go.

          I see no advantage to the US as a whole if Trump's attack dog makes Oracle the viable alternative for network software and services.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2020 @ 2:29pm

        Re: Re: Pretty Clear

        If by "criticism" you mean "trot out outdated arguments about MySpace that don't reflect the modern global scale of the tech landscape and the usual Whataboutism for why telecoms aren't being looked at, alongside a heaping helping of mansplaining" then yes, Techdirt did "criticize" Warren for.

        Mike constantly argues from the flawed consumer-harm angle of antitrust that was put forth by Republican and Ronald Reagan Acolyte Robert Bork back in the late 70s and early 80s. It was a fucking stupid idea back then, and it's a fucking stupid idea today. We need to reinvigorate the pre-Bork antitrust doctrines and break Big Tech up.

        On the subject of antitrust, people like Cory Doctorow and Evan Greer constantly run circles around the likes of Masnick's recycled GOP antitrust bullshit and Barr's blatant political stuntsmanship.

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

        • icon
          Khym Chanur (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 10:28pm

          Re: Re: Re: Pretty Clear

          Mike constantly argues from the flawed consumer-harm angle of antitrust

          What's flawed about using that as the primary angle of antitrust?

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

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 21 Oct 2020 @ 12:29am

          Re: Re: Re: Pretty Clear

          If by "criticism" you mean "trot out outdated arguments about MySpace that don't reflect the modern global scale of the tech landscape and the usual Whataboutism for why telecoms aren't being looked at, alongside a heaping helping of mansplaining" then yes, Techdirt did "criticize" Warren for.

          This is an inaccurate articulation of my position, but you're entitled to your warped views.

          Mike constantly argues from the flawed consumer-harm angle of antitrust

          What is the "flaw"? You may disagree with it. You are free to have differing views on how antitrust should be used. But what is the "flaw"?

          I want there to be more competition. I don't see how antitrust gets us there.

          We need to reinvigorate the pre-Bork antitrust doctrines and break Big Tech up.

          Again, what will that actually DO?

          And if you want to break up big tech you should be furious about this joke of a lawsuit.

          On the subject of antitrust, people like Cory Doctorow and Evan Greer constantly run circles around the likes of Masnick's recycled GOP antitrust bullshit and Barr's blatant political stuntsmanship.

          Cory, Evan and I take different views on the effectiveness of antitrust, though we're not that far off and the three of us have all talked over these issues in a friendly way, exploring our differences and understanding each other.

          Yet because you disagree with my views you jump in with insults and ad homs. You like their views better? Fine. No need to be an asshole.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2020 @ 2:55pm

        Re: Re: Pretty Clear

        If anything, on antitrust he's aligned heavily with Republicans and Libertarians in all the wrong ways.

        Masnick's angle on antitrust is the same brand as GOP crook and Ronald Reagan Acolyte Robert Bork. Bork introduced his ideas in the late 70s and early 80s. The were bad then, and they're bad now. Doctorow runs circles around Mike on the subject of antitrust, and it really shows.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2020 @ 1:43pm

      Re: Pretty Clear

      In that case a good start would be a forced separation between infrastructure providers, ISP's and content providers. Google on the other-hand, while being dominant is not the only search engine, advertising broker or video service n the Intenet.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2020 @ 4:44pm

      Re: Pretty Clear

      Koby, how is it a monopoly when I can easily choose to NOT use google?

      But, where I live in Seattle, there is ONE option for broadband, Comcast. Tell me why you think google is a monopoly but comcast isn't?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2020 @ 4:58pm

        Re: Re: Pretty Clear

        They're both monopolies, they're both bad, and they both deserve antitrust actions enforced upon them. The definition of monopoly has been smudged around and messed up over the last several decades of lax antitrust. Google is definitely a monopoly, same as every telecom.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2020 @ 6:47am

        Re: Re: Pretty Clear

        Koby, how is it a monopoly when I can easily choose to NOT use google?

        Reports from people trying to use Android phones without Google services or accounts have suggested "easily" is an exaggeration.

        • Samuel Walladge is "pretty happy" but says Airbnb's app won't work and a bank app crashes
        • Nolan Lawson is more critical: "Be prepared for error messages like, 'Please install Google Maps,' 'Google Play Services required,' … So now that you’ve successfully turned your $700 Android device into a glorified $30 Nokia flip phone"

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

        • identicon
          Rocky, 21 Oct 2020 @ 7:59am

          Re: Re: Re: Pretty Clear

          Reports from people trying to use iPhone's without Apple services or accounts have suggested that it's almost impossible.

          It's like arguing that you are unhappy about the fact that after you bought a laptop with Windows 10 on it, that it uses Microsoft services per default and some of those services actually, gasp, requires an account.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2020 @ 10:08am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Pretty Clear

            Reports from people trying to use iPhone's without Apple services or accounts have suggested that it's almost impossible.

            Yeah, if you ignore the whole "monopoly" aspect where Google has 85% of the market (including essentially all low-end smartphones—even government agencies aren't releasing apps for non-Google non-Apple phones).

            It's like arguing that you are unhappy about the fact that after you bought a laptop with Windows 10 on it, that it uses Microsoft services per default and some of those services actually, gasp, requires an account.

            Um... you know Microsoft was found guilty of almost exactly that, right? Of using their Windows monopoly to promote their own other products and services, mostly Internet Explorer. Same thing, basically, in the EU.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 21 Oct 2020 @ 8:05am

          Re: Re: Re: Pretty Clear

          "So now that you’ve successfully turned your $700 Android device into a glorified $30 Nokia flip phone"

          Yes, you did that by removing parts of the central operating system that apps are programmed to assume are available, same as you'd get if you removed any basic library from any operating system. You literally removed the ability for the program to access things it's been programmed to depend on.

          Now, you can argue that these apps should not be part of the operating system and that the distribution package should involve the ability to use alternative components if they prefer, but you're seriously misunderstanding the complexity of development if you think it's a simple plug and play. You're also overestimating the will of developers to go out of their way to give you that choice just so you can use a Google products without actually using Google.

          This is why Apple products have generally gained the reputation of being more stable than Microsoft ones - they don't allow you to sabotage the ecosystem like that.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2020 @ 1:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Pretty Clear

            Yes, you did that by removing parts of the central operating system that apps are programmed to assume are available, same as you'd get if you removed any basic library from any operating system. You literally removed the ability for the program to access things it's been programmed to depend on.

            I understand it's not a "plug and play" thing. It is, however, Google's choice to keep certain parts of Android proprietary and still market them similarly to the open-source parts in terms of developer documentation etc.—i.e., to let people think they're always-available built-in things.

            And I can't help but notice how much your comment resembles Microsoft's comments about Internet Explorer being an integral part of their OS, during their own antitrust lawsuit. I don't mean that as any kind of personal attack; I just suspect this stuff is "integral" more because Google decided it would be, rather than because it needed to be. And my understanding of Google's anti-forking rules is that they'd seriously penalize any device manufacturer who wanted to make both Google Android phones and unbranded-Google-free-Android phones (outside of China, where Google allows that only because Google services are blocked).

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

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 21 Oct 2020 @ 8:58pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pretty Clear

              "And I can't help but notice how much your comment resembles Microsoft's comments about Internet Explorer being an integral part of their OS, during their own antitrust lawsuit."

              It is a very different thing, plus remember that when you get those error about Google Maps being missing it's the app that's complaining, not the OS. The app you're trying to use is telling you that you deleted something it needs to work, in the same way as if you removed any program dependency in any OS.

              "I just suspect this stuff is "integral" more because Google decided it would be"

              No, it's integral because the phone typically needs mapping / GPS software and that's the one they built in. You can use other mapping software, but apps made for Android are going to assume that the default software is there and get confused when it's not. The reason for that is that the basic APIs and other methods used by other software to operate may not be compatible. So, your complaint is that either Google aren't strictly enforcing standards so that other software can act as a direct one-to-one replacement for people who want to start removing vital parts of the OS (which isn't going to happen for obvious reasons), or for app developers to reprogram vital system calls to deal with the different interfaces presented by all alternative software (which, again, ain't going to happen).

              You might disagree with the licensing requirements and how things are built, but "apps built for stock Android builds don't work when you remove major OS components" is not a real complaint.

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

            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 22 Oct 2020 @ 5:16am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pretty Clear

              "And I can't help but notice how much your comment resembles Microsoft's comments about Internet Explorer being an integral part of their OS, during their own antitrust lawsuit."

              Not the same for plenty of reasons. Want to develop a fully-functioning android OS with every feature as plug-and-play as it when you're using Google play? Feel free, because everyone is allowed to do that. The documentation is there and the OS is open source.

              The same can not be said about MS in their "You get a lawsuit, YOU get a lawsuit, everyone gets a lawsuit!"-period.

              So what you are trying to say is basically that since too few skilled people actually bothered to issue a finished non-google version of Android Google holds a monopoly.
              That's not how "monopoly" works.

              "I just suspect this stuff is "integral" more because Google decided it would be, rather than because it needed to be."

              You don't get it. The OS wants a "map" program. Natively the OS assumes this will be accessible through the google maps server. You need to tell the OS where to find an open map server you can use.
              The same holds true every time you want your phone to interact with anything online - you need to tell it where to go.

              You aren't complaining about google integration. You are blaming google because they haven't actively themselves set up competing ecosystems of online services to choose from. This sounds more like an entitled whine of a guy who, on being given a car gratis for nothing tries to sue the company giving away that car because the car they give you comes with a GPS service and a chauffeur wearing that company's logo. For the ostensible reason that since no one else would give you that car it's a monopoly.

              "And my understanding of Google's anti-forking rules is that they'd seriously penalize any device manufacturer who wanted to make both Google Android phones and unbranded-Google-free-Android phones..."

              You can download Android today, right now, and rebuild it to fit your purpose. Google will probably ask you to not call it "Google Android" but that's, imho, fair. Ask them nicely and they might even tell you how to remove every shred of Google callback features.
              No one stops you from creating a map service. No one stops you from building a separate app store or, you know, just not bother with it and sideloading the apk's instead.

              There are reasons to let google take some heat, but that google is the only company offering, for free, the full ecosystem to use an android phone in...isn't it. Especially not so when every vital component required to make that work is open for everyone to use. Except for google's servers themselves, which is, frankly, damn understandable.

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

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 5:04pm

      Re: Pretty Clear

      Its just that google hasnt Paid enough to Lobbyists, that Pay to the Senate and Congress.
      Thats all.

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

    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 10:02pm

      Re: Pretty Clear

      Monopolies need to be broken up to prevent additional harm.

      Right, let's start with AT&T et.al.

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

  • icon
    virusdetected (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 1:49pm

    Worth reading the complaint

    The complaint, which alleges that Google's monopoly keeps other search engines from entering the market, defeats it own claim: "Given the internet’s enormous breadth and constant evolution, establishing and maintaining a commercially viable general search engine is an expensive process. Google’s search index contains hundreds of billions of webpages and is well over 100,000,000 gigabytes in size. Developing a general search index of this scale, as well as viable search algorithms, would require an upfront investment of billions of dollars. The costs for maintaining a scaled general search business can reach hundreds of millions of dollars a year."

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 1:52pm

      Re: Worth reading the complaint

      That's a novel definition of 'monopoly' they seem to be running with, 'If it's not viable for a startup to start at the same level as the current companies then that means they have a monopoly'.

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

      • icon
        ECA (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 5:07pm

        Re: Re: Worth reading the complaint

        it means Someone else isnt willing to take the time and effort Google has done.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2020 @ 8:42pm

          Re: Re: Re: Worth reading the complaint

          Or it means that it's not feasible to reach the scale of Google when the market is already dominated by a single competitor with the power to buy you out if you become an actual threat.

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

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 10:46pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Worth reading the complaint

            "Or it means that it's not feasible to reach the scale of Google with the power to buy you out if you become an actual threat"

            On what timescale? It wasn't feasible for Google to reach the scale of Google when they were starting out, but it was feasible for Yahoo to buy them out. It was perfectly feasible for MySpace to buy out Facebook before they got traction. What are the parameters here?

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

          • icon
            ECA (profile), 21 Oct 2020 @ 12:00pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Worth reading the complaint

            same as paulT said,

            NONE of this was INSTANT. as MSN Bing has been around along time.
            If you dont remember the Wars on the net, for chat progs, for search engines, for Movie/video sites, for everything that is THERE.
            You are very young.

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

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 22 Oct 2020 @ 5:27am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Worth reading the complaint

            "...when the market is already dominated by a single competitor with the power to buy you out if you become an actual threat."

            You'd think that would have thousands of skilled programmers leaping for the chance to set something up and have google shove gagging bagfuls of money down their throats.

            So your argument is, basically, that Google has a monopoly because every potential competitor is shit-scared of Google making them wealthy beyond their wildest dreams?

            Sounds legit. /s

            I'd posit the complete opposite and yet that's not happening. Google competitors in the advertising segment are slowly getting off the ground...but what is far more likely is that no one is willing to invest either time or money into a google alternative because no one sees much of a market option to pass Google in being more convenient, better, and less costly.

            So what Barr is actually whining about is that Google is being competent and has the fiendish gall of offering great stuff for free, making undercutting them hard.

            I can see why Barr got himself involved in that. He hates nerds almost as much as anything which is convenient for the citizenry. And that weaponized farce he's toting shows it.
            Any thinking being defending his particular shit-show either hasn't read his brief or has such a rage-boner against Google they'd sit spellbound if the Demon Sperm Witch Doctor climbed a soapbox and started chanting "Google bad! Goooogle Baad!".

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

      • icon
        Darkness Of Course (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 5:48pm

        Re: Re: Worth reading the complaint

        I don't have enough money to compete with Westinghouse. They are a monopoly so give me some of their money.

        With that money I won't have quite enough to compete with General Motors so they are a monopoly so give me some of their money...

        ad infinitum

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2020 @ 4:24am

        Re: Re: Worth reading the complaint

        With that definition, everything is a monopoly

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      S. Neakin Upton, 20 Oct 2020 @ 2:32pm

      Re: Worth reading the complaint - up-front costs of BILLIONS!

      GOOGLE had last known 900,000 servers, plus places to put them, plus employees. You missed that, just neglect the start-up costs.

      By the way: how did two college kids take their precious "algorithm" from the lab to practical, meaning at least thousands of servers, a trusted and competent staff to make payroll -- instead of run off with it -- and so on. -- The biz as such was all handed to them by money men, including with literal CIA support.

      Second question: WHY, in this highly lucrative field, are there no competitors? Not even Crimosoft can massively collate data? Baloney. -- GOOGLE is the designated monopoly of The Establishment, just as Amazon has online retail. Both are deeply intertwined with gov't, esp the spooks of GOOGLE.

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

      • icon
        bhull242 (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 2:45pm

        Re: Re: Worth reading the complaint - up-front costs of BILLIONS

        “No competitors”? You do realize that Bing still exists, right?

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 10:49pm

        Re: Re: Worth reading the complaint - up-front costs of BILLIONS

        "how did two college kids take their precious "algorithm" from the lab to practical, meaning at least thousands of servers"

        By growing their business using capitalistic means. They didn't start their business with thousands of servers, dumbass.

        "WHY, in this highly lucrative field, are there no competitors?"

        Why have you invented a reality where there are no competitors?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2020 @ 11:48pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          There are competitors. Twitter's competitors are Gab and Parler but out_of_the_blue flat out refuses to admit that those options are so trash-tier, even the demographic they're aimed at can't stand them.

          out_of_the_blue just hates it when due process is enforced.

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

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 22 Oct 2020 @ 5:33am

        Re: Re: Worth reading the complaint - up-front costs of BILLIONS

        "By the way: how did two college kids take their precious "algorithm" from the lab to practical..."

        There are about a dozen books about it from different sources, detailing the origin and development of Google from garage project to global giant, Baghdad Bob. Everyone knows how they did it.

        Except, apparently, you. Who needs to pin his ranting to the coattails of the Illuminati to assemble anything even remotely resembling an argument. I wish I could say I'm surprised to see you once again trying to rewrite well-known and verified history...

        Grow the fuck up, Bobmail. Even your rants about how every one of your detractors is a Mike Masnick sock puppet has more coherence than the gibberish you push out these days.

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

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 5:11pm

      Re: Worth reading the complaint

      AND,
      dealing with every nation that wants restrictions or limits on Adverts and search.
      The legalities of Porn in every nation(even states)
      Acknowledging that every nation has its OWN rules and trying to keep up with them.
      Ask Bing, ask Yahoo, ask excite, ask compuserve, ask all of the ones LEFT that are battling the battle.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2020 @ 2:04pm

    Left wingers are a censorious bunch of cretins.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 2:18pm

      And the right-wingers who kiss the ass of Donald “the press is the enemy of the American people and I’m going to open up the libel laws so I can sue anyone who says anything mean about me in the papers” Trump, they’re bastions of protecting speech they find distasteful?

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

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 4:10pm

      Re:

      [Projects facts not in evidence]

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2020 @ 2:09pm

    To quote Gollum, "We be nice to them, if they be nice to us."

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    S. Neakin Upton, 20 Oct 2020 @ 2:12pm

    Get the timeline right: GOOGLE weaponized itself LONG before.

    Just a FEW links out of DOZENS over last decade.

    GOOGLE Funds 29 Journalism Projects That Swing Left...

    https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/techwatch/corinne-weaver/2019/10/29/google-funds-29-us-jou rnalism-projects-decidedly-swing

    UPDATE: Insider Reveals GOOGLE Plan to Prevent 'Trump Situation' in 2020...

    https://www.projectveritas.com/2019/06/24/insider-blows-whistle-exec-reveals-google-plan-to- prevent-trump-situation-in-2020-on-hidden-cam

    The smiling 30-something face of the New Nazis blithely stating how they intend to use their actual power to suppress dissent and re-make society.

    BREAKING: New Google Document Leaked Describing Shapiro, Prager, as `nazis using the dogwhistles'

    Project Veritas has obtained a newly leaked document from Google that appears to show a Google employee and member of Google "transparency-and-ethics" group calling conservative and libertarian commentators, including Dennis Prager and Ben Shapiro, "nazis."

    https://www.projectveritas.com/2019/06/25/breaking-new-google-document-leaked-de scribing-shapiro-prager-as-nazis-using-the-dogwhistles/

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 2:19pm

      Project Veritas

      You had no credibility before you cited them and you still lost credibility by citing them. Fucking bravo, Brainy Smurf.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        S. Neakin Upton, 20 Oct 2020 @ 2:24pm

        Re: A. Stephen Stone: FACTS don't need "credibility"!

        You had no credibility before you cited them and you still lost credibility by citing them. Fucking bravo, Brainy Smurf.

        It's no good ad homming me OR Project Veritas, silly.

        You have much religious cultist aspects, just believe what you're told and deny facts. You're a "flat earther" in the political realm.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 2:36pm

          …says the Blue Man Dupe who believes Project Veritas without question.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 10:54pm

          Re: Re: A. Stephen Stone: FACTS don't need "credibility"!

          "It's no good ad homming me OR Project Veritas, silly."

          Saying "Project Veritas is a known group of con artists whose business model revolves around misleadingly editing out of context footage and selling it to right-wing propaganda outlets and drive nonsense conspiracy theories" is not an ad hom, it's literally their M.O.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    S. Neakin Upton, 20 Oct 2020 @ 2:13pm

    And not just politics, but EVERY sneaky way can think of:

    Mozilla exec says Google slowed YouTube down on non-Chrome browsers
    https://www.cnet.com/news/mozilla-exec-says-google-slowed-youtube-down-on-non-chrome-browse rs/

    And it's got YOU in its database too! Every transaction collated with phone location and credit card #s (though I bet TD approves of the implications here for gun control):

    Users alarmed to find Google indexes gun serial numbers and license plates

    it does raise the question of Google's ability to build profiles on users by pulling vast numbers of data points together in order to understand, organize and index users in ways they may not have imagined possible.
    https://reclaimthenet.org/google-images-gun-serial-numbers-license-plates/

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    S. Neakin Upton, 20 Oct 2020 @ 2:14pm

    Not just the evil "right wing" noticed "Google Becomes Evil":

    Google Becomes Evil

    http://smirkingchimp.com/thread/tom-valovic/86623/google-becomes-evil

    For many years, public perception of Google was that of a friendly giant with its techno-hippie ethos and stated agenda to make the world a better place. Whether through direct self-promotion or just the curious mythology of all things digital, this notion came to be widely believed by the general public. The fact that the company was working on a host of dark and questionable projects for the defense industry was somehow swept aside, as was the fact that Google spearheaded the notion of mass surveillance, however innocuous it's early efforts in that direction might have seemed. Now, however, a clearer view of the company's social and cultural agenda is emerging and it's not a pretty picture. It shows a corporate entity intent on invading every aspect of our lives through hidden control of our most personal information, and then using that information to promote it's own equally hidden agendas.

    EVEN this legalistic propagandist's employer, the EFF, is worried:

    We all know that major technology companies, especially Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook, don't compete directly enough in their services. Their dominant technology silos, ubiquitous networks, and gargantuan hoards of data are creating high barriers to true competition. These giants have become overconfident that they can change the rules on users-removing more and more power from them-without losing their profits or their market share.
    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/09/how-make-sure-tech-you-use-and-build-reflects-your-valu es

    HOUSE.GOV is now Hosting Project Veritas Video Exposing Google's Plans to Rig the 2020 Election Against Trump courtesy of Rep. Gohmert
    https://gohmert.house.gov/uploadedfiles/google.mp4

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      S. Neakin Upton, 20 Oct 2020 @ 2:22pm

      Re: Not just the evil "right wing" noticed "Googl

      Will this be like the Microsoft anti trust thing?

      Probably. Not even a significant fine, in exchange for Microsoft putting in back and front doors for spying, because gov't LOVES big corporations. -- In other words, what will end up happening is gov't authorizing MORE surveillance capitalism!

      And why you kids aren't alarmed at this clear overall trend is constant source of wonder to me...

      Again, GOOGLE has enough on many of you to get actual search warrants for illegal downloading! Don't you understand the degree of control that's possible from its trove of information?

      And for WHY do you advocate that this legal fiction be allowed to collect and keep this danger to you? WHY?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2020 @ 5:17pm

        Re: Re:

        There once was an out of the blue
        Who hated the process of due
        Each Barr that he'd paid
        Was DMCAed
        And shoved up his ass with a screw

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2020 @ 2:14pm

    Will this be like the Microsoft anti trust thing?

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 2:42pm

      Re:

      It might have been(as TD has noted there are valid concerns at play, just not the garbage ones being put forth), but the whole thing has been rushed to be used for political points so any real case that might have been made is likely pretty thoroughly trashed at this point, with all the effort put into turning it into a song and dance to con the gullible.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 10:51pm

      Re:

      It's way more complicated than that. Microsoft directly leveraged their dominance in the OS market to push out competitors in the browser and media play businesses, and this was shown to be deliberate and harmful. With this stuff, the connection is a lot woolier, and depends on people confusing "big" with "monopoly" and pretending that actual competition in the relevant markets don't exist.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    S. Neakin Upton, 20 Oct 2020 @ 2:14pm

    Okay, I've put put up links to factual reasons WHY the suit...

    Now you can censor it away and pretend doesn't exist.

    But here's one more that shows the danger to YOU, from PCLinux's monthly mag:

    If you are a Google Maps user, it has saved every trip you have ever made (especially on your mobile device). The CNBC website has an excellent article onhow to stop Google Maps from tracking you and saving your location history. The level of detail is c-r-e-e-p-y. Like when you leave work, any stops you make on your way home, when you leave for work, what pictures you took where, and whether you were walking, driving, riding on a train, or bicycling. With its default settings, Google sucks up all of this data and retains it FOREVER! That is, unless you go in and make the changes that the article suggests. Honestly, I was shocked at not only the level of detail that Google Maps Hoovered up about my trips, but also how far back it went.

    On page 12 in: http://pclosmag.com/download.php?f=2020-02.pdf

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2020 @ 2:29pm

    I find bing is better for certain searchs.
    If you are searching for videos.
    There's bing . Duckduckgo etc
    No one is forced to use chrome
    Some people might say Google owns chrome but I can use other browsers,
    Google allows game streaming on android,
    Apple is trying to block it,
    As it might compete with games it sells
    On the app store
    I find brave browser works better if I'm using an older pc than chrome
    I don't wish to sign into chrome
    As google knows enough about me already
    Gmail is popular because it works on any device
    It's easy to use it blocks spam

    Apple has much more control over apps and it's phones as it makes the os and it only allows apps
    from the apple store to be installed
    Microsoft could have bought android before Google bought it but it was wary from
    It's previous doj investigation
    There were popular social networks before Facebook
    But they faded away
    Bing could pay to be the search engine on apple
    phones
    If it wanted to
    Apple may gain more market share vs android
    if it release some cheaper phones

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

  • identicon
    Glenn, 20 Oct 2020 @ 2:32pm

    Is anyone other than those in the Trump faithful giving any credence whatsoever to anything uttered by the current--soon to be replaced--DoJ?

    I think not.

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

  • identicon
    Zonker, 20 Oct 2020 @ 3:23pm

    I keep getting Comcasted every time I call customer support about my cable service.

    I'm also sick and tired of being Verizoned every time I hit the limit on my unlimited phone plan.

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

  • icon
    martin (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 5:28pm

    Monopoly practices

    As a regular schmo I am quite pleased with the lawsuit against Google, the idea of surfing the web came about in the early days of Alta Vista, Lycos, dogpile, etc., and there weren't all of these results sent back to the USER filled with fucking ads that are a waste of time and is not something on their search agenda. In those days the www was much more limited in size so that we could get the results we were searching for, but we could always find odd, interesting results beneath our search results. One could click on that link, then go back after looking at that website and checkout what was beneath the last link, then click another link down the way to surf around on, and so on. The fun has been removed from the search experience because everything has been categorized, organized, corporatized, incentivized, and boredom-ized... Perhaps, if Google is brought to heal the tech market will open up again w/ different startups to offer new search engines programmed for a niché, then marketed to be fun again, but at least we will have a choice. Now, GOOGLE is in our faces ABOUT EVERYTHING, the fucking BOSS and they simply don't understand about sharing the space, and by definition that is a Monopoly.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 5:40pm

      The fun has been removed from the search experience

      Why should the “search experience” be “fun” when what most people want out of a search engine is “find the thing I’m looking for”? It’s like asking for the phone book to “be more fun”.

      if Google is brought to [heel] the tech market will open up again w/ different startups to offer new search engines programmed for a niché

      Two questions.

      1. How niche-y do these new search engines need to be?

      2. What’s stopping these niche-y search engines from being made right now?

      marketed to be fun again

      I don’t use a search engine to “have fun”. I use a search engine to (hopefully) find the page I’m searching for using that engine. For that purpose, I want the best search engine — not the “most fun” search engine.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 21 Oct 2020 @ 5:19am

        Re:

        "I don’t use a search engine to “have fun”. I use a search engine to (hopefully) find the page I’m searching for using that engine."

        Bingo. If I'm looking for a decent guide on how to repair my XBox or work out why my program is crashing with a specific error message, I want that, not some "fun" stuff. This is why Google took off in the first place - you found what you actually wanted rather than having to wade through directories of hopefully relevant websites or get spammed with "fun" applications to make the search results appeal to 12 year olds.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 5:42pm

      Re: Monopoly practices

      ... that has got to be one of the strangest arguments against Google I've seen in a long time.

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

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 5:48pm

        I can sorta see where the argument is coming from, in regards to how people used search engines prior to, say, the advent of tab-based browsers. It also reminds me of old sites like the Anime Web Turnpike, which is more like the whole “having fun finding new stuff” experience they describe. But these days, people aren’t really using search engines in that way. And while that’s a decent argument in favor of making a search engine geared towards delivering that experience, it’s a shit argument for breaking up Google.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 21 Oct 2020 @ 5:17am

          Re:

          "It also reminds me of old sites like the Anime Web Turnpike, which is more like the whole “having fun finding new stuff” experience they describe"

          People still have that kind of experience if they want to, and that's really been taken over by social networks ranging from Twitter to Reddit. Social networks being, by the way, something that Google has notably failed at offering.

          "And while that’s a decent argument in favor of making a search engine geared towards delivering that experience"

          It's not really. That sort of experience is horrible if what I'm doing is trying to find out the cause of a specific error message, for example. Forcing Google to concentrate of "fun" stuff rather than what people are actually looking for does nobody any good.

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 22 Oct 2020 @ 5:58am

          Re:

          "I can sorta see where the argument is coming from, in regards to how people used search engines prior to, say, the advent of tab-based browsers. "

          You mean as in type in a query, get 58 popups in a dozen shades of eye-searing glare splashed across the page, all topped by a grinning purple monkey abomination arguably almost as hateful and annoying as Microsoft's damn paperclip? After which your PC freezes up or windows 95 decides to offer you a fresh blue-window view?

          Careful, Stephen. Waxing nostalgic about the "good old days" is usually the first sign you're developing dementia. I still remember the places early search engines and indexes often took you - those long-lost days were mainly good in the regard that it fostered in a generation of users the good sense of approaching unknown URL's as if you were dancing across minefields.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 10:52pm

      Re: Monopoly practices

      "early days of Alta Vista, Lycos, dogpile, etc., and there weren't all of these results sent back to the USER filled with fucking ads that are a waste of time "

      Erm, did you ever USE any of those sites you just mentioned? The major appeal of Google to begin with was that it wasn't cluttered with crap.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2020 @ 12:06am

        Re: Re: Monopoly practices

        >and there weren't all of these results sent back to the USER filled with fucking ads that are a waste of time....

        As a meta-editor of the Open Directory Project; spending thousands of hours looking at hundreds of thousands of web pages; searching for useful sites using search engines, portals, private links pages, and any other source that might be useful: I know you're wrong.

        Why do you say things like that? Do you suppose nobody was in a position to fact-check?

        Google destroyed the competition because it was invariably better. You could--as I often did--page through whole screens of AltaVista/Excite/Yahoo/AOL search results without seeing a single result that wasn't affiliate spam. Google's precious algorithm wrought havoc on the spammers' standard techniques, and as a result gave far more useful results. I also frequented the SEO forums in those days, and I can attest to the fact that the promoters really hated Google because they could not figure out how to manipulate it.

        Google destroyed the competition because their precious algorithm changed, hundreds of times daily, in attempts, mostly successful, to improve the results.

        Anybody can attempt to compete with Google. Microsoft does (with their usual degree of attention to user satisfaction). And there are other minor engines.

        There are no barriers to users using different search engines. All search engines have home pages, and anyone can go to any of those home pages with any browser. Oddly enough, the complaint suggests that (1) Google has a monopoly on browers, and (2) Google keeps a competitive browser in business by competing with Bing to purchase the right (for whatever it's worth) to be the easily-changed and even-more-easily-avoided default search engine.

        Google got the monopoly on browsers the same way they got the monopoly on search engines. They did a better job, day after day. I remember IE 3 through 5--I was doing heavy searches for the ODP, and IE would explode, generally in 20 minutes to two hours, even in an era when most websites were hard-coded to support IE. When was the last time Chrome or Mozilla crashed on you? Microsoft kept trying because THEY (unlike Google) saw the browser as part of a monopolistic cross-market strategy. But curse their little hearts and smaller brains, they never could code to the HTML standard to save their wallets. However, note that ANYONE can get into the browser market the same way Microsoft did--BY USING GOOGLE CODE FOR FREE! There are no barriers to releasing those competitive browsers on OEM phones or tablets or computers; there are no barriers to distributing them through Google's OWN APP STORE--or any competitive app store. There's nothing resembling monopolistic practice in any of this.

        I remember Microsoft in their heyday: the most evil company in all tech, I thought for decades. (Only in the last decade has Oracle surpassed them in my books.) My father remembers IBM in its heyday: they tried to get him fired for considering purchasing from a mainframe competitor. I know monopolies; monopolies are an old hatred of mine. And you, Google, are no monopoly.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 Oct 2020 @ 2:19am

          Microsoft does (with their usual degree of attention to user satisfaction).

          Especially with Bing’s video search, which is far more useful than Google’s in regards to…certain kinds of videos.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 21 Oct 2020 @ 5:13am

          Re: Re: Re: Monopoly practices

          Erm, you replied to the wrong person here, but yeah Google have their dominance because they were better at doing what they did.

          That's the major issue here- while Google do have their problems and there are some issues with the way they operate, a lot of people gravitate towards them simply because they offer a superior product. Crippling them so inferior services can compete is not a good outcome for anyone.

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 21 Oct 2020 @ 2:48am

      Re: Monopoly practices

      "...the idea of surfing the web came about in the early days of Alta Vista, Lycos, dogpile, etc., and there weren't all of these results sent back to the USER filled with fucking ads that are a waste of time and is not something on their search agenda."

      You know how we can tell you're an astroturfing troll indulging in history revisionism over the rosy pink days of yore that never were, bro?

      You are fucking gushing over the days of Bonzi buddy? Are you kidding me? You want the "good old days" when half of every webpage was a geocities or AT&T ad and every search request tried to - often successfully - install umpteen different sorts of spyware on your computer, straight through your IE or Netscape browser.

      Here's the summarized analogy of what you said; "I love the way they're putting the screws on Ford, now we can go back to the good old days of horseback riding".

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 21 Oct 2020 @ 4:29am

        Re: Re: Monopoly practices

        "You are fucking gushing over the days of Bonzi buddy?"

        The problem with rose covered glasses is that even the dog poo changes colour...

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 22 Oct 2020 @ 6:07am

          Re: Re: Re: Monopoly practices

          "The problem with rose covered glasses is that even the dog poo changes colour..."

          Forget something as trivial as colour change. Neutrinocat's (posting as "Martin") one and only comment here on TD isn't saying how nice the dog poop looked. He's gushing happily about the taste.

          He's at the very least a slightly different take of troll, even if the anti-google based on history revisionism rant smacks of coming out of the same smelly cave as the rest of the alt-right astroturfers eager to whine about Google being so convenient that company should be punished for not being inept enough to give mediocre asshats a chance to screw consumers.

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

  • icon
    lucidrenegade (profile), 20 Oct 2020 @ 7:16pm

    I almost replied with "but your wife's not" to Cotton's "Winter is coming" tweet.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2020 @ 1:18am

    Out and In

    They got so tired of destroying every other nation on earth they decided to turn inward.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2020 @ 2:07am

    Google's near domination of the mobile OS space is definitely problematic for any new entrant into the mobile OS space - as MS themselves found out the hard way with Windows Phone.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 21 Oct 2020 @ 3:05am

      Re:

      I suppose that makes sense if you pretend that there wasn't any competition in the mobile OS space before they came along - competition that included one incumbent by the name of Microsoft, and another named Nokia (remember what happened to them?)...

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2020 @ 5:50am

        Re: Re:

        The main issue is that they control both Android and the Google apps that hook deeply into it. Most of Google's apps didn't even make it to Windows Phone.

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

    • identicon
      Rocky, 21 Oct 2020 @ 6:20am

      Re:

      Google's near domination of the mobile OS space is definitely problematic for any new entrant into the mobile OS space - as MS themselves found out the hard way with Windows Phone.

      The thing is, the manufacturers want Android on their phones just because of the market share. If you think that is problematic, it's something you need to take up with the manufacturers.

      In MS case, they didn't really try to mimic Android - they tried to mimic iOS and Apple and their walled garden with predictable results. MS has always been a bit hamfisted when it comes to the mobile space, there's nothing inherently wrong with the hardware but when they insist on cramming a gimped desktop-experience into a mobile device in an effort draw on their Windows user-base you get something most people steer clear of, especially in light of the utter clusterfuck their "unified ui experience" turned out to be.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 21 Oct 2020 @ 6:57am

        Re: Re:

        "The thing is, the manufacturers want Android on their phones just because of the market share"

        Manufacturers wanted Android because everyone else was playing catchup with Apple after their entry into the market, and other existing players such as Windows and Symbian were both not up to the same standard i for general usage and were proprietary with the associate licensing fees. Android was the open source solution they could edit to their hearts content, and then add their own customisation to.

        Microsoft weren't locked out of the market because they were "new" (they certainly weren't), that was a combination of trying to create a single use OS for desktop and mobile, making the damaging mistake of trying to force their mobile GUI into the desktop and server markets at the same time, and taking so long to catch up that there wasn't anywhere near the same level of app support. They were already in the mobile market, they just took so long to work out what they were doing that potential customers had chosen something else. By that point, they'd already bought Nokia and rejected Symbian and Blackberry had failed to catch up in the market, so Android became the default choice for any new device manufacturers.

        "it's something you need to take up with the manufacturers"

        This is the real issue with trying to break up Google. You might be able to force Google to remove some of the integrations they have with Android for non-Pixel devices, but the fact is that the marketshare is there because non-Apple manufacturers chose to use it - and given the state of the mobile OS market at the time many of them made tis decision you can't fault them for doing so.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2020 @ 6:05am

        Re: Re:

        Most of Google's apps didn't even come to Windows Phone. It was missing the likes of Google Maps, Gmail, Google Drive and the Google Play Music/Movies & TV/Books apps.

        There are only two official Google apps that made it to Windows Phone as far as I know - Google Search (which was most likely a web wrapper) and YouTube (which has a rather tortured history on Windows Phone - not helped in the least by Google).

        Given that Google pretty much controls Android as well as the apps I mentioned (as well as their behaviour surrounding their attempted collaboration with MS on the YouTube app), it seems to me that it's an abuse of monopoly power to crush a new entrant into the mobile OS market.

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 22 Oct 2020 @ 6:16am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Given that Google pretty much controls Android as well as the apps I mentioned (as well as their behaviour surrounding their attempted collaboration with MS on the YouTube app), it seems to me that it's an abuse of monopoly power to crush a new entrant into the mobile OS market."

          Except they don't. Anyone and everyone can do whatever they like with a copy of the Android OS. That's how open source works.

          What google controls is very simple. Google controls google's own servers.

          No one is crushing anything here - Google simply isn't running a server farm for free. If you want all the stuff google servers provide to many of the google apps then you need to set up servers of your own to which you can then point your own apps.

          Google is "crushing the competition" only in the same way GM is "crushing the competition" by not letting Toyota use GM's car factory.

          If that's your definition of "monopoly" then I think you need to revisit the definition of how a monopoly actually works. Or, for that matter, what the word "private property" means.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2020 @ 6:49pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Android is technically open source but the Android most phones run is controlled by Google.

            You also forget that the Google apps contain user data that isn't particularly easy to port over to a competing service (most notably purchases through Google Play Books/Movies & TV).

            I also notice that you glossed over YouTube (which, admittedly, I also did because the comment was getting rather long as it was). The short version of that is that MS wanted to work with Google on an official native YouTube app for Windows Phone (as opposed the the web wrapper it ended up dying as) but Google kept moving the goal posts on them and ended up disabling MS's API key.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 22 Oct 2020 @ 6:24am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "It was missing the likes of Google Maps, Gmail, Google Drive and the Google Play Music/Movies & TV/Books apps"

          "it seems to me that it's an abuse of monopoly power to crush a new entrant into the mobile OS market"

          It's an abuse of power not to port software over to a competitor who had a head start in that market?

          Damn, wait till I tell you about Microsoft's relationship with Macs until recent years...

          Meanwhile you must know that MS had their own apps that did all the same stuff, right?

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

  • icon
    Thad (profile), 21 Oct 2020 @ 9:21am

    I think there are good antitrust arguments to be made against Google.

    I also think that, by and large, these ain't them. This is an election-year political stunt timed for political impact rather than effective litigation.

    There are a few reasonable points in there which may end up succeeding; some of Google's tactics to force search integration do seem familiar to those of us who remember the antitrust suit against Microsoft (though that ultimately ended in a slap on the wrist). But by and large this is political theater, an ad for Trump's reelection campaign, not a court case.

    I think the past forty years of Chicago School antitrust philosophy have done some real harm, and I'd really like to see a return to the old days of real enforcement (break up AT&T, again). It'd be nice if we had someone taking point on this who really believed that, not just a crony doing a political favor for his boss.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Sue Prized, 21 Oct 2020 @ 10:28am

    When you tell Chrome to wipe private data about you...

    it spares two websites from the purge: Google.com, YouTube

    https://www.theregister.com/2020/10/19/google_cookie_wipe/

    Kick Google all you like, Mozilla tells US government, so long we keep getting our Google-bucks

    "In case you've forgotten: Google sends Mozilla about $400m a year" -- Just to buy favored position in the default setup, because it has so much money so easily gained. -- Also, the Safe Search in Firefox uses GOOGLE'S database, thereby giving it direct look at every site you click on.

    https://www.theregister.com/2020/10/21/mozilla_position_on_us_vs_google/

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Sue Prized, 21 Oct 2020 @ 10:32am

    House Democrats say it's monopoly.

    House Democrats say Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet, Apple enjoy 'monopoly power' and recommend big changes

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/10/06/house-democrats-say-facebook-amazon-alphabet-apple-enjoy-mon opoly-power.html

    You can read the majority's full report here.

    https://fm.cnbc.com/applications/cnbc.com/resources/editorialfiles/2020/10/06/investigation_of _competition_in_digital_markets_majority_staff_report_and_recommendations.pdf

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Sue Prized, 21 Oct 2020 @ 10:35am

    Want to congratulate you, Maz, for censoring all dissent here,

    letting all reasonable people who might click link on the Drudge Report see how Techdirt actually works to discriminate against viewpoints. You won't get any bump from it.

    You also omit mention that Google "sponsors" your "think tank", so you're hardly an objective source:

    https://copia.is/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/sponsors.png

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 Oct 2020 @ 11:16am

      For what reason should the law force Techdirt into hosting links to Drudge Report articles?

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 21 Oct 2020 @ 11:35am

        Re:

        So that we can laugh at the people who think it's a good resource, like we do at people who post project veritas, zerohedge and the other right wing comedy echo chambers?

        I'm surprised he mentioned Drudge actually.. I've heard news that he's not so popular with the Trump cult recently.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 21 Oct 2020 @ 11:36am

      Re: Want to congratulate you, Maz, for censoring all dissent her

      Lol, thanks, it's been a while since I've seen you post a link to the public announcement on that site about something that's not what you think it says, and claim that the public announcement that is still available to you to link 5 years later is hiding something...

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

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 22 Oct 2020 @ 6:32am

        Re: Re: Want to congratulate you, Maz, for censoring all dissent

        "...it's been a while since I've seen you post a link to the public announcement on that site about something that's not what you think it says..."

        All of "five minutes" is "a while" now?

        At this point in his cycle, all he does is post links to shit which either doesn't say what he thinks it says or which leads to an echo chamber.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2020 @ 10:54am

    I wonder if Ask Jeeves is still out there ...

    oh my ... it lives again!
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/blog/2009/apr/20/ask-jeeves-resurrected

    Now I will no longer be forced into using that dreaded Google.
    How can Google be a monopoly while Comcast is not?

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.