Microsoft Search Request: Is Google a Monopoly?

Microsoft has filed a complaint about Google’s purchase of Double-Click.

(I have to let that sink in a moment . . . O.K., stop snickering).

There’s something deliciously ironic about the largest recently adjudicated monopolist accusing Google of monopoly abuse — even as Microsoft itself is forced to withdraw their own attempt to hijack desktop search through their own monopoly!

But is Google a monopoly, given its domination of search, 64% market share, and 58% year over year growth of total number of search queries?

Consider:

• Google neither owns the content nor the delivery mechanism of that content.

• Google has no geographical control anywhere in the world.

• Since nearly all its consumer services are free, Google doesn’t have the power to raise prices.

• Google has no ability to exclude competitors or somehow block access to competing services

• Google operates in an environment of healthy competition, with deep pocketed comeptitors such as Microsoft, Yahoo, and Ask.com.

Google’s succes is simply a function of it building a better mousetrap. 

The complaining you hear comes from competitors who simply missed the boat. Had Microsoft or Yahoo! understood the revenue potential of serving ads with each search, Google would not be the benevolent monster it is today.

So instead, we get anit-trust whining from the world’s biggest "innovator."

Terry Semel got $h*tcanned for frittering away Yahoo’s dominant position in both search (are portal’s far behind?)

With Semel gone — Non-executive Chairman is a polite term for one foot out the door — inquiring minds want to know: Is Ballmer next?

>

Source:
Is Google a Monopoly?
Lance Ulanoff

PC Mag, 05.09.07
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,2127299,00.asp

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. michael schumacher commented on Jun 25

    Google is a monopoly in one area alone…..click through rates. No one is in ANY position to compete with them in that area. Google maintains several office buildings where people do nothing but click through ads…thus inflating the value of each and every potential ad placement.

    I actually agree that Google should not have this much power for the simple reason that we do not need another microsoft type of no choice going forward.

    Ciao
    MS
    ~~~~

    BR: Michael, this is ridiculous . . .

    I am unpublishing the rest of the thread

  2. yep commented on Jun 25

    The DOJ found that microsoft’s success was also a function of building a better mousetrap. The problem was it’s use of that success once attained. I don’t see why Google shouldn’t undergo similar scrutiny.

  3. ManhattanGuy commented on Jun 25

    “Google maintains several office buildings where people do nothing but click through ads…”

    MS – Do you know that for sure? Or you are just pulling out of your like everything else?

  4. michael schumacher commented on Jun 25

    MG-

    Get out more often…….

    or do a little research….

    and where were you on Friday??….licking your perma bull wounds??

    Ciao
    MS

  5. JAC commented on Jun 25

    “Google maintains several office buildings where people do nothing but click through ads…thus inflating the value of each and every potential ad placement.”

    You’d think they’d be smart enough to be able to write a program or two to do this, rather than having to hire office buildings of people.

    Seems rather inefficient as Google goes…

  6. ManhattanGuy commented on Jun 25

    MS – Why would I be licking my wounds? I am close to 100% ROI since I started investing last Fall.

    By the way did you read this?

    Inventory of homes for sale rises to 15-year high .. Existing-home sales fall 0.3% to 4-year low at 5.99 million annualized

    You know what this means. Rate cut by year end.

  7. KP commented on Jun 25

    Google is the biggest baby. They are synonymous with search yet they continue to whine about everything that Mr. Softie does….and god forbid Firefox should think about setting their little search box to ANYTHING else but Google.

    The amazing thing is how many zombies are out their praising Google and lapping up the marketing like perfectly trained little dogs. Considering how much info Google has on people it’s only a matter of time before they go too far and get caught doing so.

    Google is not your friend!!! Snap out of it folks!!!

  8. DavidB commented on Jun 25

    “Google maintains several office buildings where people do nothing but click through ads…thus inflating the value of each and every potential ad placement.”

    I assume that would be outsourced to India or China.

  9. Lill commented on Jun 25

    everyone relax. this is barry’s monthly diatribe against microsoft. it’s usually followed by a pro apple piece. oh wait..

  10. Christopher Laudani commented on Jun 25

    Actually, I have it on good authority that Google maintains secret overseas Zombie prisions where they are forced to click on porn links all day.

    The use of the half dead has several advantages over simple bot programs.

  11. ManhattanGuy commented on Jun 25

    MS- yes that’s right. 100% as of today. Did you get your guaranteed 5% return on your CD account? I hope so.

    Rate cut is happening soon…just wait and watch.

  12. kckid816 commented on Jun 25

    Manhattan Guy,

    While I’m no MS fan. If you’re really up 100% then why are you wasting your time posting here? Why don’t you have your own blog where you can post your ideas like BR and prove that you’re up 100% instead of just thumping your chest like a mindless ape?

  13. Tom B commented on Jun 25

    I like GOOG. At least they have some interesting, useful technologies. Unlike Microsoft.

  14. Rob Dawg commented on Jun 25

    • Google neither owns the content nor the delivery mechanism of that content.

    Google filters, sorts and censors content based on their financial interests. Mr. R, thay ain’t an effing library.

  15. Goldilocks commented on Jun 25

    I’ve been coming here for several weeks and have yet to see Barry post any ideas, other macro-economic news of the bear-humping variety.

    However, based on his Business Week prediction that the DJI would be around 10,000 in June, I’d say that his clients have lost beaucoups de dollars.

  16. donna commented on Jun 25

    Wait a minute…

    there are ads on the internet?

    Huh. I never noticed that.

  17. Dave commented on Jun 25

    Check with advertisers before making statements about google’s ability to raise prices. Sure, it’s consume products are free but that conveniently sidesteps the fact that rates on keywords have been ratcheting upwards.

  18. dave_s commented on Jun 26

    “had [snip] Yahoo! understood the revenue potential of serving ads with each search, Google would not be the benevolent monster it is today.”

    Yahoo! understood this a couple a years ago, when they bought Overture (in 2003), the company that created the first successful platform for paid search (serving ads w/ each search).
    But after Yahoo! bought Overture, they just sat on it without putting much innovation or development into it. And that allowed Google to run away with a business that Overture created. Now Yahoo! is playing catch-up, and not doing an especially good job.

    And, Google is no monopoly. Yahoo!’s Sponsored Search does compete pretty well with Google’s Adwords – Y! is #2 but they’ve still got decent market share, and from the consumers perspective (the advertizers, in this case) there is a level playing field.
    The big difference is that Google’s Adwords is much for profitable for Google than Sponsored Search is for Yahoo!.

  19. michael schumacher commented on Jun 26

    Unpublishing my comments that are ridiculous???

    ~~~

    BR: Michael,

    I am unpublishing everyone who:

    -Publishes 10 comments per post
    -Goes ad hominem and starts flame wars;
    -Are wildly off topic.
    -Generates many emails from other readers asking me to tone that person down;

    Those people who use real email addresses get a courtesy email prior to any unpublishing, to discuss whatever the issue at hand is. However, since all you have provided was MS@ferrari.it, I was unable to reach you. Consider it one of the downsides of commenting anonymously.

    As George Constanza said, “its not you, its me.”

    -Barry

  20. michael schumacher commented on Jun 26

    come on BR, you have my real email, how else did I get that list a few weeks ago?

    You’re right….it is you…

    Ciao
    MS

  21. L’Emmerdeur commented on Jun 26

    My problem with Google isn’t that they serve ads with search results, it’s that they serve ads as search results. This is why Give Me Back My Google exists, to filter out all the crap that earns Google a large portion of their revenue – the portion they earn at the expense of meaningful search results. Please don’t dismiss me as some “online ads are evil” wacko. Google’s ads are, as with all such algorithm-generated content, hit-or-miss, but I’ve been known to click on sponsored links featured above the search results and even purchase items based on a few of those hits.

    In my opinion, search results whose ranking in a query is determined based on payment to Google, just like paid advertisements in print media, should be clearly marked as such. Otherwise, Google is no longer a search engine in the traditional definition of the term, but an advertisement index, and should be referred to as such.

    And we’ve already had a brief back-and-forth about the strange differences in search results between Google on the one hand and MSN Live/Yahoo on the other.

    Off-topic*: Barry, I strongly suggest that you be extremely heavy handed with these trolls. Anything less is an open invitation for more of the same. Do you really want to spend time editing comments? Isn’t that time better spent making more money for your clients, or writing content for this site?

    *And apologies for this.