16 September 2010

The Googlesphere Is Already Googleopoly

I have written in the past about the nature of Google and how I believe Google is incapable of living up to its stated goal of "Do No Evil."

Much of this is based on my observation of behaviour of the juggernaut. Having worked at a company previously labelled a "monopoly" - aka Microsoft, I believe I can put my views in context that is meaningful.

I am particularly worried by the Google/Verizon view of the future two tier web. The issue of the proposed ITA acquisition allows us to examine Google's behaviour and motivation.

Professor HB sent me a link to a discussion which is one of the more scholarly assessments of Google's behaviour. There is a lot of data you can find at The Googleopoly Site. I encourage you to spend some time looking at it

In particular download this presentation.

What is perhaps the most worrisome is that in every sector where Google has staked a claim it is either the dominant force or the major influencer.

The accepted notion of what constitutes a monopoly in both US Law (The Sherman Act) and European Community Law (Article 102) is as follows:

"A monopoly power is defined as the ability of a business to control a price within its relevant product market or its geographic market or to exclude a competitor from doing business within its relevant product market or geographic market. It is only necessary to prove the business had the "power" to raise prices or exclude competitors. The plaintiff does not need to prove that prices were actually raised or that competitors were actually excluded from the market.

Today, a general definition of a monopoly is where nearly all of one product type or service is owned by one person or group of people within a community or area. Thereby, the sole control of this product or service is given to one party to the elimination of all others within the marketplace."

Note that I am NOT a Lawyer and if someone seeks to take the issue further then I strongly suggest that that you should contact a professional attorney or law firm.

Google's perspective on domination was interesting in looking at the way Google acted in withdrawing from a product area. When it canned Google Wave - it freely admitted that despite reaching more than one million users that was not enough.

Thus for Google only domination is good enough. That my friends is a far cry from "do No Evil" - indeed my view is that sadly Google has forgotten how to do good.

What can be done - or what can Google do about it?

I believe the company should be split up. A breakup is the only effective way of curbing their domination. Our universal dependence on the Internet and Google's domination of the web give them unprecedented power to destroy and do evil.

My previous views can be seen here is several key posts.


Illustrations are Slides 8 and 27 from the Googleopoly VI presentation noted above.

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