Sep 25, 2011

Google's Google Problem

The Google anti-trust hearings present some interesting questions of how to ensure fair and competitive markets. Whereas some folks disagree with that as being a worthy goal -- instead they feel that that a firm should not be thwarted in any means in a sort of "earned monopoly" way of thinking -- I personally believe (with the support of the current anti-trust legislation on the books) it to be the proverbial key to the mint for economic innovation and growth.

Geoff Duncan gives an excellent overview of the specific issues involved in these hearings in the current issue of Digital Trends.

Google basically admits that, yes, it does re-shuffle the deck of search results to give preference (higher rankings) to chosen firms. Those firms tend to be those in which it has a financial stake or those outside companies who pay for the love. But "so what?" it asks.

A slew of companies -- e-commerce and similar -- counter by claiming that this practice puts them at a serious competitive disadvantage, given Google's market dominance. But The Senate's job is to determine whether the consumer is harmed, not necessarily those offended firms, for the anti-trust laws are focused on that point of view.

Stay tuned; this should be interesting. Well, to a few of us, at least!

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