Link to the Guardian's article on investigation of Google's monopoly:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/20 … oly-senate
Don't get me wrong, I have a great respect for many of Google's products, including their search engine, and they have a right to compete with and outdo their rivals, but being on HubPages has made me realise how powerful they have become and how detrimental the situation could be to the economy and wider society. Monopolies are unhealthy. They undermine competition and stifle innovation, both things that the internet needs if it is to thrive.
Search engines are the arteries that take the blood around the internet. They are vital. And whether it is approprate for a company with such a dominant search engine to also own one of the biggest online advertising systems, and some of the biggest video media and blogging sites is very questionable, so I am glad that this is being looked into.
I think that although Google is trying to become a monopoly, they fail dismally when they go outside their own square - yes, they're great in the search engine, advertising and video sector, BUT they fail dismally when it comes to social networking (FB has been installing updates so they've got most of the 'extras' G+ has, plus they already have all the members) and articles (does anyone use Knol?) and questions (they tried, failed, and shut down that project.)
So I'm not too worried - sure, they're a monopoly in some things, but they can't take over the net - not unless they come up with something no one else can do and learn to do their research first.
Monopolies happen all the time. And the government steps in and trims them back all the time. It actually seems to be a part of the system that works.
The lovely think about the online world is that we can collectively break up monopolies if we so choose and if enough people work at it. I didn't realize until farmer/panda/revenge of panda/etc. just how much I was putting all my eggs in one basket. I have since started taking steps to remedy the situation, and am slowly starting to generate more non-Google traffic. I heard a statistic recently that Google drives about 30% of the traffic on the internet -- I don't know how accurate it is, but it was from a pretty darn reliable source. That leaves 70% out there waiting to be found.
Of course Google would challenge it, to do nothing would be stupid.
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