The US Government’s Antitrust Subcommittee recently stated that Google has created a huge monopoly empire. This includes favoring its own services and products and suppressing services from its competitors. The committee claims that Google, an Alphabet subsidiary, uses its own services to suppress third-party competitors and dominate all markets from advertising to maps. The report also warns that Google’s growing cloud business and its acquisition plan for Fitbit may further strengthen this unfair monopoly.
The report concludes that Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook enjoy monopoly power. The committee recommends that Congress amend the anti-monopoly law to force them to spin off some of their businesses and make acquisitions more difficult.
The report said: “The company that occupies an absolute dominant position in the field of general online search is Google. It accounts for 81% and 94% of general search queries on desktop computers and mobile devices in the U.S., respectively.”
Furthermore, the report shows that Google is abusing its position as the online search leader. It is forcing vertical websites to surrender valuable data and use its search advantages to enter adjacent markets. In addition, Google is using its dominant position in the search engine field and control of the Android operating system to expand its share of the web browser market…”
Google disagrees with the report – says data is inaccurate
In a statement, Google accused lawmakers of helping their competitors more than thinking about problems from a consumer’s standpoint.
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“Google’s free products such as Search, Maps, and Gmail have helped millions of Americans. We have invested billions of dollars in research and development to create and improve these products. We are changing rapidly. Google competes fairly in a highly competitive industry. We disagree with today’s reports. It contains allegations from commercial competitors that are outdated and inaccurate in search and other services.”
“Americans just don’t want Congress to disrupt Google’s products or damage the free services they use every day. The purpose of antitrust laws is to protect consumers, not to help commercial competitors. Many of the proposals circulated in today’s report will cause real harm to consumers. It will also harm the U.S. technological leadership and the U.S. economy, and it will be of no benefit.”
According to the report, Google also promotes its own products by placing its services at the top of search results, and “suppresses competitors” through “forced algorithmic punishment”.
Many companies, including large listed companies and those regarded as competitors by Google, told the subcommittee that they “mostly rely on Google’s traffic, and there is no other search engine that can be used as a substitute”.
Smaller companies think that Google has not been fair
The report also stated that some companies complained that they were forced to invest more money in Google advertising. This is because it is very difficult for their products to appear in regular search results.
The report stated: “Some market participants told the subcommittee staff that their increase in advertising spending on Google is largely due to the company making it more difficult for companies to obtain organic traffic. Part of the reason is that it favors its own products, which forces the downgraded company to pay an ad placement fee to regain its popularity.”
The report also said that Google will use data collected from its Android and Chrome systems for other purposes. “Perhaps most crucially, Chrome provides a way for Google to control access to its core market-online search and online advertising.”
According to the report, for many years, Google executives deliberately instilled unfair behavior among employees. This encourages them to use Google’s dominant search engine to promote other products.