Thursday, May 7, 2009

Google's googopoly

This is kind of interesting. Last week, Edward Harrison at the Credit Writedowns blog "ranted" about the Feedburner's RSS Feed Service now owned by Google. Here is what he said about Google:
I could end my little blurb there, but I am REALLY frustrated with all of this and want to make this post a little rant about FeedBurner and the mother ship Google. You see, FeedBurner was a much more reliable and better tool before it was acquired by Google. I like Google’s services (News, Reader, Mail - they are all excellent. I especially like Google Checkout), but it is becoming increasingly evident that in many areas the company has too much power on the Internet with few reliable alternatives.
RW: This is a common theme around the internet: Google has too much power; I call this the googopoly. Well, it looks like the Department of Justice is looking into Google's market share. I imagine that it is difficult to define market share and anti-competitive behavior on the internet; but apparently, they are trying. From Fortune:
The Justice Department is taking a closer look at Google's settlement with authors and publishers over how material will be accounted for on Google's book search service. And the Federal Trade Commission is wondering whether the boards of Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) and Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) are a bit too close.

It was bound to happen: Google couldn't get this dominant - with 76% of the search market - without attracting some attention in DC. The question is whether the company has played by the rules in gaining its status.

The last thing the "do no evil" company wants is a rehash of Microsoft's situation in the 1990s.

Google has a number of explanations for why it plays fair.

For one, the company likes to say its competition is "just one click away." In other words, there's nothing really preventing users from switching to another search engine - aside from sheer habit - if they want to find better results.

It doesn't sound like anything is going to come of this right away. But it is food for thought.

Rebecca Wilder


  1. I specifically look for Google to search as it gives me the most accurate results. Good product equals more usage.

  2. As the BOFH @work I have resigned to automatically kill any News headers from Google: There is just too much spam and fraud coming out of Google groups and Google does absolutely F.A. err ... nothing about it!


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