Google-opoly under Conceptual Assault

March 1, 2009

The Google-as-monopoly bandwagon started to roll a little faster. You may want to read Eric Clemons’ “What an Anti Trust Case against Google Might Look Like” here. The article appeared in TechCrunch on March 1, 2009. If you have an MBA from Wharton, you will feel right at home. Others may have to read the analysis closely. The short take: Google is a monopoly and after a decade of lava lamps and Odwalla beverages, legal eagles are taking notice. For me the most important comment in the write up was:

I believe the Department of Justice will be able to establish monopoly power and the abuse of that power. Ultimately, the Department of Justice will seek to demonstrate consumer harm, direct or indirect, caused by the high fees charged for sponsored search, and, ultimately, I believe that the DoJ will succeed in establishing this, but these are not essential to establishing the presence of and abuse of market power.

I want to steer clear of this argument. What is clear to me is that Google faces choppy water. Even in the post meltdown economy, Google can ill afford increased legal engagements. Google has a couple of tough customers on its hands; namely, Facebook and Twitter. The increase in technical glitches is a cause for concern. Now the sound of a freight train of litigation might be heard in the near future. The Google-opoly is officially under conceptual assault.

Stephen Arnold, March 2, 2009


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