back to article Google hints Bing! pact will curb competition

Though it controls somewhere between 65 per cent and 73 per cent of the US search market, Google is hinting that the Microsoft-Yahoo! search pact will hinder competition. "There has traditionally been a lot of competition online, and our experience is that competition brings about great things for users," reads the company's …

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FAIL

Interesting use of language

Google "controls" a percentage of that market do they? I'm guessing that means they have hired a gang of thugs to run around and wave their guns at people, telling them that if they don't use Google they will be shot? I seriously doubt it. What I do not doubt however, is that there is a gang of thugs with guns and they actually do have control of the market to an extent. You may have heard of them, they currently call themselves the government.

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Silver badge

Reading between the lines from Google

"Shoot - we may have credible competition"

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Stop

Sorry, but....

....having 1 strong competitior to Googles all seeing eye is better for the consumer than two weak competitiors.

If this gets blocked, then we truely know who really chucks the biggest backhanders around....

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FAIL

Google is a Verb

And there lies Micro$ofts failure - they started with a stupid word that they wanted to make into another verb - Bing - and /then/ tried to build the search engine. As always, they focus on the brand rather than the product.

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Gold badge

The headline.

There are some unnecessary words in there, let me help:

"Google will curb competition".

There, that's better and it works whether they continue to do this by being better and holding a massive market share or by getting their friends in high places to sling frivolous anticompetitive practice suits around to stop the competition reorganising itself in the first place.

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Bronze badge

@Daniel Jarick

You really don't have too much understanding of economics or the role of competition do you? Just to enlighten you over your apparent misaprehension that controlling a market requires overtly criminal activities such as you allude to, there are plenty of ways that a dominant supplier (and Google is most certainly that in this market) can control a market through means such as pricing policies, creating barriers to entry, buying up potential competitors and so on.

There are also plenty of structural means by which markets can become uncompetitive. Some are where certain markets are natural monopilies. For instance, it's extremely difficult to come up with a sensible market providing mains water pipes to the home (rather than sourcing the water - a different thing). In the area of computing, Microsoft where able to manage to reach a dominant position due to a combination of astute commercial decisions and the pressing desire of many organisations to have common means of exchanging data. That happened witht he combination of a standardised PC architecture, a standardised operating system and standard data formats, of which the most important was MS Office. Unfortunately for competition, many of the required standards for this platform were proprietary, hedged around with all sorts of IPR issues and less than platform-independent. Micrrosoft were able to extend this dominant position through the use of pricing policies, tie-ins, cross-subsidies, loss-leading, buying up key potential competitors, or undermining them by giving away products (a straight issue of cross-subsidy).

There are a number of simlar tactics being undertaken by Google. They are certainly in the game of giving away products, largely as a means of locking in further advertising revenue. Now this sort of thing can be in the short term interests of most people, but in the long term all organisations get fat, bloated and stuck in their ways. That's when the presence of viable competition is particularly important to encourage innovation. It's generally considered a bad thing to allow dominant suppliers to erect barriers to competition through what are broadly called anti-competitive practices (a term that describes a number of different commercial means which, whilst harmless when practiced by smaller suppliers is devastating when carried out by dominant ones) ,/

I think you've missed the little irony in the story - that it is Google making the point about the tie-up damaging competition when they are dominant. In a very real sense Google control the main market dynamics, and it is not necessarily about the quality of their products. Essentially Google only have one real product - in the sense that it is something they sell. It's delivering advertising - virtually everything else, especially the search engine, is a marketing tool to sell that product.

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Grenade

Microsoft

There is a reason that MS can't get their web stuff into the #1 spot and it's the same reason no-one used MSN search. Unlike their shitty OS, we are not forced to use their search engine by our employers, so we all choose the one(s) that works best for us.

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@Rod

Do you choose to use Google, or did you (like me) just find yourself drifting into using it at the end of the 90s and haven't really looked at anything since? If so, that's not really an informed choice. Recently I've started making a point of using both Bing and Google fairly interchangeably, they are both pretty good. Likewise, I've also taken to using IE, FF and Opera and have for many years used Linux and Windows at home as I don't want to end up all zealoty without an informed position.

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Uh ...

"Everyone runs faster in a race where there are more people."

Then she needs to explain Secretariat at The Belmont. (YouTube will show you the race.)

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Anonymous Coward

A Bit Rich!

I've just been slagging off Ya-Bing! --- but hey, its a bit rich for Google to be talking about competition.

As EddieD says, maybe they just got the nasty feeling that they just might be about to get some.

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Gold badge

Oh sure..

Oh sure it's limiting competition. Bing should be partnering with altavista or askjeeves for sure!

Hahaha. But seriously, I don't think google is anticompetitive -- they are big but to be anticompetitive or be a monopolist you also have to be playing dirty to block out competitors... but they are big enough they are in no position to claim any other partnership among search engines curbs competition.

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Stop

a choice of 3 is better for consumers

A choice of 3 is much better for consumers.

In fact eliminating Yahoo (for whatever it was worth) does in fact reduce competition. And it eliminates the possibility that a third great search engine might be developed. And that too harms consumers.

The problem for Microsoft and Yahoo is that many of the old Yahoo users are just as likely to migrate to Google as they are to begin using Microsoft. So it is doubtful that Bing will end up with the full markets from both Microsoft and Yahoo. Google may get a fairly sized share of the old Yahoo users. And that is true even if they get Bing when dialing up Yahoo.

That does not mean there might be some cost savings. But, it does mean that consumers suffer from the lack of choice. Two major search engines is less than three no matter how good the two might be. Bing would still be available even if Yahoo continued.

Yahoo giving up also could mean they are less likely to provide any competition to Microsoft or even Google as far as Internet based services are concerned. And those markets are just getting fired up. No doubt Microsoft looks favorably at eliminating a potential competitor to their main products. This deal all but puts Yahoo out of the picture as far as Microsoft is concerned.

So all around the deal between Yahoo and Microsoft is bad for consumers. And perhaps good for Google and Microsoft. Yahoo is a has been.

Maybe some of the other search providers might step up to the plate but that is uncertain.

I also find it strange that advertisers think that dealing with only two is better than three. There are few instances when having fewer providers is better than more. Maybe they are just lazy? Sort of like most IT managers who think that having to choose a browser is too much work so they just let a dominat seller tell them what they must buy, install, maintain and support. Not their money and then they can take the day off.

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Bronze badge

To look at it another way...

"Though it controls somewhere between 65 per cent and 73 per cent of the US search market, Google is hinting that the Microsoft-Yahoo! search pact will hinder competition."

For which I think you can read "Google is worried that the Microsoft-Yahoo! will hinder it's attempts to hinder competition."

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FAIL

Another reason why Bing won't be #1

Well, here's another reason Bing will never reach #1: three or four years ago I got fed up with badly-constructed search spiders consuming my bandwidth and blocked the whole damn lot apart from Google. And I know a good many admins of reasonably popular sites who've done the same thing.... so good luck, Microsoft!

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Jobs Horns

Here...lmgtfy

http://lmgtfy.com!

unknownsoundman

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Jobs Horns

Microsoft Fights the EVIL Google

What an incredible joke! Until M$ has been punished for its monopolistic behaviour, it can only be described as ironic that they have caste this upon Google. Google, on the other hand hasn't been proven to have done anything like what M$ has done.

No, they're not an innocent but they're far from the evil that lurks at M$.

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