Does Google Abuse Its Power On The Web?
Many who love and use Google on a daily basis, use it like a relgion, and I do as well. I use Gmail, Google, Google Maps, Adsense, Adwords, and the whole suite of products. But, many wonder whether or not Google is abusing its power as a monopoly. On Friday, news on a FTC report came about talking about it more.
Late this week, the Wall Street Journal released information about an FTC report on Google, and it showed that Google in fact did abuse its monopoly power across the Internet. It didn’t directly go after Google, but did find Google did harm and used anticompetitive tactics against competitors.
What Did Google Do?
In their FTC report, they found that Google did use its anticompetitive tactics against companies like Yelp and Tripadvisor. Additionally, it found that Google posed “real harm to consumers and innovation”. But with these findings, the FTC also foud that Google didn’t violate antitrust laws by doing this.
The FTC reviewed over 9 million pages of documents in their findings, and took over 19 months to do so. As one would imagine, they poured over a number of factors to come up with this report. Google on the other hand stated that the speculation about potential harm to users and competitors was entirely wrong.
How Did Google Harm?
The FTC report found that Google weaved its own products and services into its own search results, thus causing them to be used more. Those bumps caused other products and services to go down in search results. That of course, led to downward advertising on those brand and services going against Google in that space.
The FTC report also showed that Google did harm in the US, and still might have done more harm in Europe. Europe and Russia are looking into Google and its ways, and looking at them in antitrust ways. Google did have to end exclusive search results and reposting reviews in a deal with the FTC earlier last year.
Certainly Google has gotten massive over the years. Did they do harm? Who knows, but this report definitely didn’t help them at all.