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Google Businesses The Internet It's funny.  Laugh.

Google Claims They "Just Aren't That Big" 283

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the please-send-a-check-that-is-just-as-not-big dept.
The New York Times is reporting that Google is making the case that they just aren't that big, especially from an anti-trust point of view. While they certainly corner the market in search, advertising, and online video, Dana Wagner, Google's "senior competition counsel," is working hard to convince the public that "competition is a click away." "None of the investigations take aim at Google's core advertising business. And unlike other technology giants in years past, Google has not been accused of anticompetitive tactics. But the investigations and carping from competitors and critics have Google fighting to dispel the notion that it has a lock on its market, even as it increases its share of search and online advertising. Eyes are rolling, especially in reaction to the idea that Google is a relatively small player in a giant market. 'They describe where they are in a market under a kind of a fairy-tale spun gloss that doesn't reflect their dominance of key sectors,' said Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. 'Google search is an absolute must-have for every marketer in the world.'"
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Google Claims They "Just Aren't That Big"

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  • Hi... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Em Emalb (452530) <ememalb AT gmail DOT com> on Monday June 29, 2009 @12:49PM (#28516671) Homepage Journal

    Hi! Billy Mays here for GIANTCo.

    Do you suffer from a lack of competition in your market place? Are your closest competitors light-years away from being a viable alternative to the solutions you offer? Well have I got just the thing for you! Introducing the amazing, the lovely, the Department of Justice! That's right folks, in just 10 easy years you can get a slap on the wrist and be deemed a monolopy.

    But wait, there's more! What if I told you that if you called right now, we'd throw in a second DOJ fine ABSOLUTELY FREE?!?!

    Call now, operators are standing by.

  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Monday June 29, 2009 @12:50PM (#28516677) Homepage
    It's better than having a software monopolist tying their awful search engine into all their products and becoming number one.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by BikeHelmet (1437881)

      Indeedy. Google is a little guy, relatively speaking. That they're doing so well is a testament to their service and constant innovation.

  • So did Google pay Microsoft to make Bing, a la Microsoft and Apple?

    Slow Down Cowboy!
    Slashdot requires you to wait between each successful posting of a comment to allow everyone a fair chance at posting a comment.
    It's been 1 minute since you last successfully posted a comment

    But, but... I almost had first post!

  • They're not big. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 29, 2009 @12:52PM (#28516711)

    They only dominate the market because of one thing.

    They made a search engine that works and doesn't piss everyone off with flashing blinking ads everywhere!

    Did google do anything to make all the other search engines suck ass? No.

    Did google buy out the competition so they were #1? No.

    Google just made a good service people CHOOSE to use.

    • Re:They're not big. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) on Monday June 29, 2009 @01:05PM (#28516915)
      You're exactly right. Bing does do some pretty neat things. But I use Google Documents, GMail, and am eagerly awaiting Voice when it comes out. Google just knows how to make products people want to use, and how to keep them free.
    • Re:They're not big. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 29, 2009 @01:14PM (#28517065)

      Did google buy out the competition so they were #1? No.

      Er.. curious how you got to 'no'

      Google did google video, it wasnt doing well, they bought Youtube and are now #1.

      Google did maps, it was okay but not #1, they bought Keyhole(now google earth) and advanced their tech to become #1

      They've also bought sketchup, grandcentral(google voice), and a few other smaller projects with varying success.

      • Yes, and as you probably know, YouTube isn't exactly turning a huge profit. They have brand recognition and thats about it. And while YouTube was certainly competition to Google it wasn't profitable back then. Basically YouTube was a company with no business model other than "lets get a popular site going, get some ad revenue to hopefully keep up the servers, get some venture capitalists for initial funding then hope for someone (like Google) to buy them.

        And really the rest of the companies weren't real
    • by nschubach (922175) on Monday June 29, 2009 @01:20PM (#28517163) Journal

      Right. The difference between Google's market share and Microsoft's share is that I can take my email elsewhere, I can search another site, and I can go to any of 50 video sites. I never have to look at another Google app the rest of my life and I'm not going to have to suffer to pay rent. With Microsoft, you can't just pack up your Games, Office applications/Exchange app, and development suites and move to Linux. You can't work in the business world without having to support Microsoft in one way or another... or find a job that has nothing to do with computers.

      It's a matter of being able to leave if you don't like the service. Anyone can leave Google in an hour if they wanted. Even though I use Linux daily, I still have to use Windows at work and at home if I want to play the latest game.

      • by hedwards (940851)
        Not really, can you honestly say that you can ditch out of Google's ad service without paying a heavy price? Businesses have had alternatives to MS for longer than MS has been into OSes. Ads on the other hand, if you don't sign on with Google, the number of sites you can get your ads onto is pretty small. And relatively few of them are large sites.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Drakin020 (980931)

        Wait so it's Microsoft's fault that 3rd parties are developing on their OS only?

        Well that makes sense.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by caywen (942955)

        Microsoft dominates because businesses don't mind too much, and the basic equation of domination hasn't changed enough, yet. The business defines the tools you must work with. If I went to work for Ubisoft as a 3D designer, should I be pissed that they force me to use 3DS Max, and that I can't use Blender? Even though Blender has 3DS and FBX export? Is Autodesk a monopoly if 90% of game shops use it?

        In both cases, I say no: the enemy of change is being good enough. The world just isn't yet convinced MS isn'

    • by demachina (71715)

      The problem with Google and competition is they have giant rivers of money coming in from their search/ad monopoly. I'm somewhat less concerned about their search business being a monopoly than the fact it gives them rivers of money that they can pour in to other markets, do things for free, and destroy everyone who can't afford to do the same thing for free. Its kind of like Microsoft leveraging its Windows monopoly to destroy Netscape by giving IE away for free.

      Google can afford to do Google News and GM

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Runaway1956 (1322357)

      I have to agree with the coward, this time. There are more than a dozen search engines out there, all of them trying to install themselves with each browser I download and install. At least a dozen try to give me a freaking toolbar - I think that Yahoo and Ask are the two worst offenders. I always just unclick the radio button, and tell them to go away. Even when I run IE, I set my default to Google. Who needs any of the rest of them? If/when I actually need one, I can enter the freaking address mysel

    • That's all well and good.

      But it has nothing to do with the fact that abuse of their dominant position is undesirable, and the DoJ is tasked with ensuring they do not abuse their position, no matter how they got it.

      You can be the nicest kid on the block, and everyone buys candy from you because you're a nice guy, and you have low prices, and your quality is good. But once all the other candy-sellers leave for greener pastures, you can't use your new-found dominance to keep them from coming back via define
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sexconker (1179573)

      HA!
      Do you know where Google Earth came from?
      Youtube?
      What about Google Voice?

      Google NEVER buys anyone out!

    • Re:They're not big. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted@@@slashdot...org> on Monday June 29, 2009 @02:12PM (#28517923)

      I know there were better engines out there. I personally had to admin Hotbot at the end of its life. And it was way better than Google. Especially the query features.
      It was just, that to use Google, you additionally did not need half a brain to search for something.

      I actually hate the search interface of Google. One line? Can't search for non-alphanumeric stuff? Even quotes are nothing more than a rule that this word has to loosely follow that one? Ambiguity and missing boolean functions/operators? It's even worse than the PHP interpreter.

      I can understand that someone who has no idea what he's doing, will like Google's interface, because Google will figure it out for him. But if you know how to input complex queries, then this thing is a nightmare.

      Additionally, nowadays, even a better search engine had no chance. Not because of anticompetitive behavior. But because of inertia, aka. "being used to it". Changing what you are used to, always is painful. So as long as the thing you are doing does not create more pain that the change, you will stay with it, no matter what.

      This also is, what keeps Windows on the desktop.

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot AT hackish DOT org> on Monday June 29, 2009 @12:53PM (#28516717)

    They might still be subject to antitrust issues if they're dominant in a particular market, but the statement that they "aren't that big" does seem objectively true, by most measures other than public fame.

    Some major tech companies by number of employees:

    • IBM: 400,000
    • Microsoft: 90,000
    • Google: 21,000

    And by revenue:

    • IBM: $104 billion
    • Microsoft: $60 billion
    • Google: $22 billion

    And by net income:

    • Microsoft: $18 billion
    • IBM: $12 billion
    • Google: $4 billion
    • by macbeth66 (204889) on Monday June 29, 2009 @01:05PM (#28516921)

      How about market cap?

      $134 billion for Google.com
      $139 billion for IBM
      $211 billionfor Microsoft

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Trepidity (597)

        Market cap doesn't mention any actual business activity, though; it's closer to what I was excluding ("public fame"), since it's solely a measure of how much value the investing public perceives a business to have, which is often wildly off the mark.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by hedwards (940851)
        Market cap is meaningless. It's what you can convince one idiot to pay for a share multiplied by the number of shares. It includes, not just the revenue in, but the value of any assets as well as the incredibly difficult to value cost of any IP they have. If Google were trading at a fair value, it would probably be a little over half that large. People are paying for impossible growth.

        Worse still is that you couldn't liquidate the shares of any of those companies for anywhere near that amount of money.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by elmartinos (228710)

        How about number of letters?

        3 letters for IBM
        6 letters for Google
        9 letters for Microsoft

    • And in what percentile of all corporations do they fall under with those stats? 99.999999999999999999th percentile? To claim that they "aren't that big" just because they are behind IBM or Microsoft is an asinine argument when they are probably bigger than more than 99.99+% of all US businesses.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      They're dominant but not because of ANTICOMPETITIVE measures, they dominate the market because (imho, ofc) their shit is just that good that I want to use it instead of anything else.

      If bing maps turns out to be better than google maps I'll use it in a heartbeat.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 29, 2009 @12:54PM (#28516725)

    Heck, I've got lots of 'em.

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday June 29, 2009 @12:54PM (#28516727) Journal
    Your market cap is $134 billion [google.com] to put this into perspective IBM's is $139 billion and Microsoft's is $211 billion.

    You may well employ far fewer than either of those two giants, but you aren't "running with the big dogs" now ... you are a big dog. If you're pulling in more than a billion per quarter in sheer profit, you're going to lose that argument. Money is more important than number of employees when you're relating to other companies.
    • by larry bagina (561269) on Monday June 29, 2009 @01:08PM (#28516971) Journal

      Market Cap is a mixture of future expectations, growth, hype, and irrational exhuberance.

      GMGMQ, -- General Motors in a pink sheet -- has a market cap of 677 Million (10 times more than /. corporate parent sourceforge). Yet GM has earnings per share of -$60. Their true value is -$100 billion or so. In a few weeks, they'll finish their bankruptcy and that 677 million in market cap is guaranteed to drop to 0.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by eldavojohn (898314) *

        Market Cap is a mixture of future expectations, growth, hype, and irrational exhuberance.

        I hate to break it to you but one of the most important life lessons I learned was "something's only worth what someone will pay for it." And market cap reflects that because it does a good job of telling you what people value the company at. Yes, some of it's the result of a PR engine but there's no way to avoid that. If you don't think the value of everything around you depends on Wall Street and idiots looking to make a buck, you're deluded.

        GMGMQ probably doesn't have a future and the public know

        • by jfengel (409917)

          But they've got asset sheets. Those assets are probably worth half a billion. I don't know, I'm just guessing.

          They also have $54 billion in debts, and I'm not guessing about that number.

          http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=GMGMQ.PK [yahoo.com]

          Their assets are worth considerably more than a half-billion. They've got $11 billion in cash alone. But their debts dramatically outweigh their assets. That means that the stock will be wiped out, and even creditors (who are in line well ahead of stockholder) will receive nothing.

          Conceivably people could continue to trade GM shares among themselves, like Magic cards, but you can't even tap

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nschubach (922175)

        People like to use whatever numbers make their arguments seem logical.

        • I prefer the one that shows that Google is ranked 150 [cnn.com] in the Global 500. What a small corporation they are to only rank a paltry 150 out of the countless millions of corporations that exist in the world.

  • by loteck (533317) on Monday June 29, 2009 @12:54PM (#28516729) Homepage
    the Register has an article up today entitled A Google monopoly today means packet sniffing tomorrow [theregister.co.uk]. Seems like the tech community has possibly learned from its past and may be a lot more hesitant to blindly support monopolies, no matter what their supposed "slogan" is.
  • by camperdave (969942) on Monday June 29, 2009 @12:55PM (#28516759) Journal
    "competition is a click away."

    Yeah, just type the word competition in the search field and click on the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button.
  • Must have? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tenverras (855530)
    a must have? Then why is it that every one of my Korean friends say that Google isn't as popular in Korea, which has been confirmed by friends that have gone there to teach and returned, and that the primary search engine used is Naver? It is a little difficult to see what all Naver offers without understanding Korean, but if Naver was to offer an english variant of all the services it offers, it would be a strong competitor to Google.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by MrDiablerie (533142)
      In Korea, Google is for old people!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by hedwards (940851)
      Because it's in a language that deviates greatly from the Western European character set and it's a small market. I have no doubt that they could do better, I'm just not sure how much time effort they're willing to allocate to the market.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Naver isn't exactly a search engine per se. It's really a questions and answer service. It solved the problem the Korean market had at the time, which was that there wasn't much on the web written in Korean. Unfortunately they robots.txt out all their content so they are the only ones that can search it, thus Naver is the de-facto search engine in Korea now because they "own" peoples questions and answers.
  • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman AT gmail DOT com> on Monday June 29, 2009 @12:57PM (#28516797) Homepage Journal

    While I agree with the statement that Google has not been anticompetitive AND with the statement that competition is "only a click away"*, Google does one thing that still makes them a large company on the order of Microsoft:

    Google buys out the competition

    Mergers and acquisitions are a matter of course for the technology industry. But when you build your portfolio by simply buying off the leader in a new market space, then you become a holding corporation. That's been the mark of Microsoft for two decades now and it's become the mark of Google as well. Google Groups (DejaNews), Google Docs (Writely), Youtube, Google Analytics (Urchin), Android, etc. all testify to this.

    While I'll grant that Google adds their own spin to the products and often integrates them better than acquisitions made by many of their competitors, it still does not change the fact that Google purchases their markets. And that... that is a damning argument against their "we're not that big" statement.

    * Ignoring the competitive advantage of Google's massive infrastructure for a moment.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The only one of those companies that Google was actually competing against was YouTube (with Google Video). Google didn't have entries in those other markets until they acquired those companies.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by AKAImBatman (238306) *

        You're looking at it wrong. Google can't purchase Microsoft for Word, so they purchase Writely instead. Bam. Instant competition. Google can't purchase Apple, so they purchase Android instead. Bam. Instant competition. That's how they "compete". By either buying the market outright (e.g. Blogger) or by buying the upcoming competitor to a competitor they can't buy.

        Microsoft, Oracle, and even IBM do the same thing.

        I've also left out several direct competitors like DoubleClick, Outride, Kaltix, Sprinks, Genius

        • by caerwyn (38056) on Monday June 29, 2009 @02:12PM (#28517935)

          You're confusing purchases that open new markets with purchases that remove competition in an existing market.

          Purchasing Writely enabled Google to compete in a new market. It did not remove competition in any way- in some ways it expanded it, by giving Writely as a product more backing against its competitors. Similarly with DejaNews, Blogger, etc.

          The only instance in which a purchase *removed* competition was the purchase of YouTube, where it resulted in the death of Google Video- competition was reduced because a player left the field.

          The two activities are very different and can't meaningfully be compared.

    • by MBoffin (259181) on Monday June 29, 2009 @01:20PM (#28517159) Homepage

      I don't know how strong my point will be here, since I haven't bothered to look up the data, but I wonder....

      How many of the companies Google has bought out were publicly-traded companies? From first look, it doesn't seem like that many at all. And if that's the case, then the companies that sold out to Google, did so of their own volition and not because they were beholden to their public investors to make a decision that would make more money for the investors.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AKAImBatman (238306) *

        Hostile takeovers are extremely rare in this day in age. Mostly because public companies now structure their shares to prevent such takeovers.

        If someone waves enough money under your nose, OF COURSE you're going to sell out. If someone offered to make me a multimillionaire AND allow me to continue working on my project, I'd be like "hell yeah!" Especially when we're talking about a generally friendly company like Google.

        That being said, your argument is neither here nor there. Google is BIG with a capital B

    • While I agree with the statement that Google has not been anticompetitive AND with the statement that competition is "only a click away"*, Google does one thing that still makes them a large company on the order of Microsoft:

      Google buys out the competition

      Mergers and acquisitions are a matter of course for the technology industry. But when you build your portfolio by simply buying off the leader in a new market space, then you become a holding corporation. That's been the mark of Microsoft for two decades now and it's become the mark of Google as well. Google Groups (DejaNews), Google Docs (Writely), Youtube, Google Analytics (Urchin), Android, etc. all testify to this.

      While I'll grant that Google adds their own spin to the products and often integrates them better than acquisitions made by many of their competitors, it still does not change the fact that Google purchases their markets. And that... that is a damning argument against their "we're not that big" statement.

      * Ignoring the competitive advantage of Google's massive infrastructure for a moment.

      Don't forget Google Earth (Keyhole), Google Privacy Invasion and Total Advertising Monopolization (Doubleclick), Picasa (Idealab), and SketchUp (@Last Software).

      G's changes to purchased software aren't always for the better. They improved Dejanews by indexing a lot of older posts that weren't previously covered, but they also made the search function less effective. They made it easier to block web tracking by reducing the number of sites that need to be blacklisted (with the absorption of Doubleclick), b

    • by nschubach (922175)

      Can you watch video on Hulu or any of the other major video sites without installing Google software on your PC? Yes. Just because they own the domain name doesn't mean you are tied to use their service. You can always use one of the other online document services as well. You are not bound by the fact that you have to run Google specific software to operate competitively in this world.

      • I didn't say they were a total monopoly. I said they were a "Big" corporation. They're running with the likes of Microsoft, IBM, Intel, and Oracle, no matter what they try to tell the DOJ.

        (Not that I'm in favor of the DOJ coming down on them like a ton of bricks. But having the threat there is always conducive to keeping large companies honest. ;-))

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don't_be_evil [wikipedia.org]

    They have certainly come a long way. They have become too big, powerful and evil. I have actually gone back to Yahoo, out of principle.

  • Somewhat (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 29, 2009 @01:01PM (#28516855)

    They are THAT big (that's what she said) but it's true that competition is just a click away. Apart from the obvious of just using another search engine, any documents you have on google docs can be converted properly to a lot of open source formats and you can leave. Social networking? Plenty of those. News aggregators? Plenty of those. Rss feeds? Plenty. Geolocation? Just throw on a tracker and use your own maps.
    Really, there's nothing google does that can't be done by anyone else. They just do it damn well.
    Fuck you microsoft and other motherfucking disable-fucking-copy-paste-if-licence-expires Office counterparts, THAT is anti-competitive, not google.

    • What version of Office does THAT?

    • You're absolutely right. And Google provides open source tools to access all it's products and gives a huge amount of access away for free. I'm not saying they're perfect, nor that they're small, but if they are an 800lb gorilla, they are one which at least appears to scootch over and share the bench when you want to sit down.
    • And one other thing: they're absolutely right to be somewhat modest. Why? Yahoo was the unseat-able champion of search when they came along. There were a raft of other options, too. Lycos, Altavista, and more. Google came along with, well, a cleaner interface, really, and suddenly they took over from all those places which had previously been vying to be the one-stop shop for all your Internet needs.
  • Whenever I hear that in the context of a blind date, its time to run.
  • by clang_jangle (975789) on Monday June 29, 2009 @01:09PM (#28516979) Journal
    Google: "Googlee-uh penis-ah vely smarr. Amelican Govelnment penis-ah so big... sooo big."
  • Mr. Wagner, not surprisingly, takes issue with the image of Google as unshakable monopoly. Google achieved its market position by offering superior products and could quickly be dethroned if it stops innovating, he said.

    This is likely true of any internet-based company. If the clicks stop coming Google would quickly become Altavista. Gmail would become Pegasus. Time will march right on by and the 'hot and new' will become 'ancient', just as it has in the past.

    Until Google reaches a point where it becomes virtually impossible to field a competing site successfully, I think the word 'monopoly' is a bit premature.

    "We can't compete," may well be true, but that would not seem to be due to anything specific that Google is doi

  • by Ilgaz (86384) on Monday June 29, 2009 @01:18PM (#28517135) Homepage

    OK, lets say Google is not that big, not evil but some people will be afraid from any company who has that kind of market share in information market.

    So, people are a bit paranoid right? Human nature...

    Why would that company ship a "updater" application/framework and code it in a way to run every 2 hours with (super user) Administrator powers on both Windows and OS X? Also, why wouldn`t it go away when all google apps removed? It is clear that you made the guy paranoid and guy got rid of all your software. You still push it by keeping the updater application (and its socket) open for 24 hours.

    I hate to give Adobe as example but, even Adobe CS4 suite which people buy with their credit card, giving their phone and address to Adobe and pay more than thousand dollars runs updater application, in current user power only when the host applications (photoshop, reader etc) running.

    I am speaking about paranoia here and it doesn`t really have to have a technical reason. People, especially Windows users are afraid of such behavior, ask any Windows developer out there. OS X users are not that paranoid yet but they are allergic to software needlessly using Admin powers. When OS X users ask, Google says "but our updater will also update kernel modules etc. in future", what a GREAT way to make guy totally nuts eh?

    You really have a example in hand. Real Networks. Why repeat history? Also Real Networks isn`t running a huge search engine which easily finds personal data on web.

  • by Niris (1443675)
    I love how there's a Google Crome banner and ad on the page for this article.

    On a more serious note, it is a bit ridiculous that they're saying they aren't a HUGE part of the market, but I can see their point of there being others (like Yahoo and MSN) that are also out there. They're exaggerating the Hell out of what they're saying, but there's at least SOME truth behind it.
  • Just as here, where the size, compared to the space to occupy, is the point. And in some areas, Google is the Internet equivalent of Photoshop's flood-fill tool.

  • by sherriw (794536) on Monday June 29, 2009 @01:55PM (#28517705)

    From my perspective, I use Google for search, free email and maps. Now if I ever got unhappy with Google, changing my bookmarks and creating another free email account somewhere and forwarding my gmail address there is really trivial. It doesn't inconvenience my life much at all.

    Whereas, if I am running a given operating system, switching it is a colossal headache, even for someone moderately technically inclined. My own quest to move to Ubuntu has been a lengthy process.

    I can't speak for those using their ad services, but I don't see that they are particularly deep into people's lives. Unless I'm mistaken.

    Heck- Facebook is more of a concern to me- most of my friends have utterly abandoned email and chat and use FB exclusively.

  • by Animats (122034) on Monday June 29, 2009 @02:16PM (#28518007) Homepage

    The part of Google that actually makes money is surprisingly small. The search engine staff was under 100 people until a few years ago, and about fifteen of them did all the hard parts. AdWords has more people, plus a sizable sales staff. But it's not huge, and it's smaller since Google closed some of their branch sales offices. At peak, Google had around 20,000 employees. Two years ago, they had about 12,000, and they could profitably shrink back to that level. They've been dumping excess contract employees for the last year.

    The labor-intensive parts are mostly in the money drains - YouTube, GMail, etc.

  • by marco.antonio.costa (937534) on Monday June 29, 2009 @02:19PM (#28518037)
    This ridiculous notion that a company can only grow "this" big or "this" successful without being tagged a monopolist, can only be held by a person without the slightest notion of what the word monopoly means. The Post Office has a monopoly. If you deliver mail you get arrested. The central bank has a monopoly. If you issue paper money you are imprisoned for counterfeiting. Now Google is NOT a monopoly. People can flock to Cuil, Bing, Webcrawler, Yahoo!, Altavista or whatever they think suits them better. If some of these other companies ( which were all around when Google came from out of nowhere and became this incredible service provider ) start getting their game together and Google drops the ball, they can become the dominant player. Or, who knows, some Searchster might come out of nowhere and leave Google eating dust.
  • by scubamage (727538) on Monday June 29, 2009 @03:33PM (#28519211)
    The fact is, google holds no position which is insurmountable. Yes they lead search technology, ad technology, and online video technology. However unlike other monopolistic companies they do not lock in vendors to only using their products. They don't sue anyone who starts developing a competing product. They have cool technology, but your computer will work just fine, as will your internet experience, with or without google.

    I mean, honestly, any one of us, given the willpower and time could develop an ad platform to compete with google's. The fact that no one has does not mean that it can't be done. Likewise, if someone is able to create a better search algorithm, it could overtake google search. There are a ton of video sites that compete with youtube as well. The fact is, no one holds a gun to anyone's head and says "USE THIS GOOGLE PRODUCT!" Now if google were to start making deals with all OEM's that their default search engine was google search, google docs was the default productivity package, chrome was the default browser, then maybe you would have a case. Ultimately, they are a big player, but they are not a monopoly.

    In my mind, a business becomes a monopoly when they completely bar entry into a market. Google does not do this. There aren't going to be henchmen showing up at your door if you start making mysweetvideohostingsite.com. Now make something that competes directly with Microsoft? Or apple? Yeah, you might have to watch your back.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton

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