Google News Provides Access to Bombshell about Google

September 9, 2022

I thought that the Google had a news deal of some type with the GOOG and its news service. If you are not familiar with Google News (the ad free thing for many years) is available at this link. Google News included a story called “Google Pays ‘Enormous’ Sums to Maintain Search-Engine Dominance, DOJ Says.” Now this is not news here in Harrod’s Creek. Isn’t a modest payment provided to the people’s friend Apple to provide search results? Maybe? Maybe not?

What I find interesting is that locating the story on Google News required using the string “Google Search Engine Dominance.” [Note: This may require a payment to read unless one views the story via Google News. Maybe Google and Bloomberg have a special operation underway? Gee, I don’t know.] Other queries were less helpful. Interesting? Nah. Just the black box of Google News search working its magic. (Maybe that’s why Google Dorks are so darned popular among certain analysts and research-minded individuals. The information is in Google, but it can require a few cartwheels to locate in my experience.)

What was the main point of this Bloomberg story. (When I think of Bloomberg, I do associate the company with the chips on motherboards which phone home. Was this story accurate, true, grounded in verifiable data, or a confection like some social media mavens output? Again I don’t know. As I get older, I realize I don’t know much, if anything.)

The Bloomberg Google story on Google News says:

Alphabet Inc.’s Google pays billions of dollars each year to Apple Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. and other telecom giants to illegally maintain its spot as the No. 1 search engine, the US Justice Department told a federal judge Thursday [September 8, 2022].

News flash. This is not news. What is mildly interesting is that the US government after decades of finding joy in Google mouse pads, T shirts, and other tchotchkes is sort of investigating. (Why was it so darned difficult to get French income tax forms to come up in Google search results? Were those cranky folks at Foundem blowing smoke? You know the answer: I don’t know.

The write up continues:

“Google invests billions in defaults, knowing people won’t change them,” Dintzer told Judge Amit Mehta during a hearing in Washington that marked the first major face-off in the case and drew top DOJ antitrust officials and Nebraska’s attorney general among the spectators. “They are buying default exclusivity because defaults matter a lot.” Google’s contracts form the basis of the DOJ’s landmark antitrust lawsuit, which alleges the company has sought to maintain its online search monopoly in violation of antitrust laws.

Okay, written contracts. That’s something sort of concrete I suppose.

In my opinion, the best line in the Google story on Google News from good and friendly Bloomberg is this one:

“Default exclusivity allows Google to systemically deny rivals’ data,” he said.

If true, does this mean that former Googler Eric Schmidt was off base when he said that fear of Qwant was keeping him awake at night?

Probably not. But Google seems to have been taking steps to reduce the probability of Qwant or any other search engine gaining traction somewhat seriously. Does Google know its search system is only useful when one masters the machinations of the Dorkers?

Again: I don’t know.

Stephen E Arnold, September 9, 2022

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