back to article Google's 'power to switch off the lights in Europe' has 'chilling effect' - rivals

Google has the "chilling" ability to "switch off the lights" at web companies, claim rivals lobbying against the dominant search giant. They highlighted Google's decision last week to suddenly yank adverts from a popular price-comparison website, and argued such moves stall online innovation. And they want European …


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        1. mickey mouse the fith

          Re: Advertisers and shills, who gives a fuck?

          "MS had dominance in the Desktop PC market through years of abuse of their position"

          Was this a bad thing though?, Without that 95% (of whatever their market share was at its peak) the fragmentation of os`s would have probably held back pc development, acceptance and penetration in the home sector. Remember the old 8 bit days when everything was incompatable with everything else and upgrading ment buying and relearning everything again? Maybe this would have continued with different os`s ebbing and flowing, one never becoming dominent, prices remaining high due to economy of scale, and the confused public not embracing the pc and internet revolution nearly as quickly as they did.

          Its also possible that if microsoft hadnt done this, Apple, Atari, Ibm or Commodore probably would have anyway, and one of them would now be the great satan of monopolys instead.

          Before you downvote, this is more a question than a personal opinion, although I did think the whole browser integration flap was silly as Microsoft never stopped anyone installing another one once the machine was off the shop floor and into the users hands, and they were all free anyway.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Advertisers and shills, who gives a fuck?

      "Oh and streetmaps is crap, id much prefer google`s offering to come top in the search thank you very much."

      I stopped using streetmaps when it started trying to send me the wrong way up one way streets, moved to MS maps for a while and only then started using Google - because it works best.

      Pioneering companies have a long history of getting arrows in their backs. Streetmaps didn't lose because of advertising, they lost because Google did it better.

  1. Eguro

    A point?

    I would just like to ask, if we could all perhaps agree to something?

    IF Google does in fact have a dominant (monopolistic) position in internet search

    THEN they might be abusing that position in anti-competitive ways (by artificially placing their own products above similar [better?] alternatives)

    I'm not saying they do or they don't - just that IF -> THEN.

    And IF the above is true, then it is true irrespective of Microsoft being involved in complaining about it (even if Microsoft was in a similar situation). You're not allowed to steal, even if you're stealing from a known thief.

    Now feel free to answer my initial question. If you feel the urge to tell me I'm a moron, please explain why, so I can at least learn from it.

    1. Intractable Potsherd

      Re: A point?

      You are correct - there is a valid question to be answered about if Google are monopolistic. Lots of people have taken up postions that assume one side or the other. Certainly, if it can be objectively found that Google (or anyone else) is acting monopolistically, then it doesn't matter who the complainants are.

      My particular point of view is that Google are not monopolistic, just ver successful, and cannot be compared with Microsoft in the desktop OS market. Going to a different search engine requires nothing more than typing in a url or clicking a link. It is easy, and requires no expenditure of time, money, or training. Breaking away from Microsoft to go to one of the other OSes requires all of those, and therefore does create an effective monopoly for many users.

      Any search engine wanting a new market can use traditional advertising (TV, radio, newspapers), and word of mouth - every time I hear about a new search engine, I try it out. That's how I became a Google user in the first place, and found it better than the search method I had been using before, which involved using a metasearch aggregator to simultaneously (and slowly) do what Google did quickly and efficiently.

      1. DragonLord

        Re: A point?

        A monopoly isn't defined by how many options there are though. It's defined by what percentage of the market the company controls. That's why Microsoft still has a monopoly, and it's why people say that google has a monopoly in search.

      2. El Andy

        Re: A point?

        @Intractable Potsherd: You're missing the point. It's not about how hard it is to move away, or how many alternatives might exist. If a company has a significant majority share of any given market, they have a legal obligation not to use that to push competitors in other markets out of business.

        It's very hard to argue that Google isn't an effective monopoly, just as Microsoft were. And there is increasing evidence that, just as Microsoft did, Google are abusing that position to promote their other businesses at the expense of competition.

      3. ITEnvoy

        Re: A point?

        The question is not whether Google is a monopoly but rather if it has a dominant market position which I think most people would agree it does in the search engine arena.

        As the dominant market supplier it must not act in an anticompetetive manner in so far as "abuse its dominant market position".

        Putting its own services above others in searches certainly flys close to the wind at the very least.

        I believe the law is EU wide.

        You may or may not agree with the law, and you could argue Google has worked hard to get where it is so why shouldn't it be able to reap the rewards - but there it is.


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