Google has become such an ingrained component of online experiences that it has become a verb, as well as a noun. People routinely “google” information they need – you never hear anyone say they are going to “bing” or “yahoo” a query. Google has consistent control over about two-thirds of the search engine market. While monopoly concerns have been raised, a new study is suggesting that Google is, in fact, ruining the economy and job market.
The study, conducted by Scott Cleland, president of tech research and consulting firm, Precursor LLC, is entitled “Googleopoly VI Seeing the Big Picture: How Google is Monopolizing Consumer Internet Media & Threatening a Price Deflationary Spiral & Job Losses in a $Trillion Sector” and details ways in which the search engine negatively impacts the economy. Cleland ends by calling on the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to file a “Sherman Section 2 Monopolization Cause,” while the EU should “file 102 Statements of Objections.”
Precursor asserts that because Google is the “dominant platform,” (and, according to the report, the search engine is the internet), they are monopolizing the “media ecosystem and deflating prices sector-wide.” Far from doing “no evil,” as is Google’s slogan, Cleland asserts that the company is creating a negative growth situation, deflated prices, hundreds of thousands of job losses in over 20 industries, including the newspaper and music industries and possibly extending to travel, video, maps, books, and analytics.
While the DOJ blocked Microsoft from expanding vertically, nothing has prevented Google from doing so as the “search” company branches into smartphone platforms and television. For instance, Google now owns Youtube and DoubleClick’s “dominant display ad-serving/analytics,” and plan to acquire AdMob. When Google TV launches, it will already own “an Internet video-streaming monopoly with 80 percent of the Internet audience, almost a billion viewers, 2 billion daily monetized views, and 45 billion ads served daily.”
Cleland argues that Google is not a gate-keeper of “free” information. Rather, they hold enormous amounts of data, which Cleland calls “Total Information Awareness Power,” with which they can create their own sphere of influence. And as Cleland says, Google is not a third-party disinterested purveyor of information; it has vested interest in several industries.
Google’s move to take over AdMob is looking uncertain at best as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is prepared to take on the search giant over monopoly issues. According to some experts, this could signal that Google’s acquisition of major companies may have “hit the antitrust wall” as the DOJ, FTC, and EU become more aggressive in their antitrust actions.