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Google Claims They "Just Aren't That Big"

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the please-send-a-check-that-is-just-as-not-big dept.

Google 283

The New York Times is reporting that Google is making the case that they just aren't that big, especially from an anti-trust point of view. While they certainly corner the market in search, advertising, and online video, Dana Wagner, Google's "senior competition counsel," is working hard to convince the public that "competition is a click away." "None of the investigations take aim at Google's core advertising business. And unlike other technology giants in years past, Google has not been accused of anticompetitive tactics. But the investigations and carping from competitors and critics have Google fighting to dispel the notion that it has a lock on its market, even as it increases its share of search and online advertising. Eyes are rolling, especially in reaction to the idea that Google is a relatively small player in a giant market. 'They describe where they are in a market under a kind of a fairy-tale spun gloss that doesn't reflect their dominance of key sectors,' said Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. 'Google search is an absolute must-have for every marketer in the world.'"

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283 comments

Google desktop (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28516637)

Niggers just aren't ready for the desktop yet. They may be ready for the cell phones that they use to distribute their upskirt pictures of white girls and 50-Cent ringtones across the world wide web, but the average nigger isn't going to spend months learning how to use a GUI and then hours installing malware so that they can get a MySpace page to post blingy graphics or booty calls with, especially not when they already know a white guy running Windows who can do it for them perfectly well and are backed by a job, as opposed to niggers which are only supported by a their unemployed mammies living in a crackhouse somewhere. The last thing I want is a black 5-year parolee (haha) providing me my OS.

Re:Google desktop (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28516825)

I don't know about google, but I can tell you this: CmdrTaco is definitely not that big, if you know what I mean. And for those of you who don't know what I mean, let me clarify: Rob Malda has a small penis. He's hung like a hamster. Asians laugh at his small dick (at least the ones that go to the Flying J for gay sex!)

-- Kathleen Fent.

Hi... (5, Funny)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#28516671)

Hi! Billy Mays here for GIANTCo.

Do you suffer from a lack of competition in your market place? Are your closest competitors light-years away from being a viable alternative to the solutions you offer? Well have I got just the thing for you! Introducing the amazing, the lovely, the Department of Justice! That's right folks, in just 10 easy years you can get a slap on the wrist and be deemed a monolopy.

But wait, there's more! What if I told you that if you called right now, we'd throw in a second DOJ fine ABSOLUTELY FREE?!?!

Call now, operators are standing by.

Re:Hi... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28516995)

I am pretty sure that you think you're being clever, but the reality is... YOU SUCK. [wikipedia.org]

RIP.

Re:Hi... (5, Insightful)

srealm (157581) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517235)

To be honest, I think this is exactly the way he would want to be remembered. He had a larger than life personality/persona - he would not want people moping around 'boo hoo, Billy Mays is dead.'

Billy was not above poking fun at himself either, and it was an image he cultivated. The fact that he, and his pitch style was so recognizable speaks volumes. So no, I don't think it's too soon, I see the above as a celebration of Billy, not a satire of him.

Re:Hi... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28517283)

This man speaks the truth.

Re:Hi... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28517567)

According to the Department of 'Justice,' you MUST compete but you are NOT permitted to win.

The alternative is much worse (5, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#28516677)

It's better than having a software monopolist tying their awful search engine into all their products and becoming number one.

Re:The alternative is much worse (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28516749)

course not...

It's better having a search-engine monopolist tying their awful products into all their search databases and becoming number one.

Re:The alternative is much worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28516907)

course not...

It's better having a search-engine monopolist tying their awful products into all their search databases and becoming number one.

What you mean because I use google as my search engine and mail server, I'm now forced to use all of their products? You mean I can't just surf to another page because of some sort of blocking mechanism? Wow, I just never noticed that before. Guess I"ll have to look closer.

Re:The alternative is much worse (4, Insightful)

Freetardo Jones (1574733) | more than 4 years ago | (#28516941)

What you mean because I installed Windows as my OS, I'm forced to use IE now? You mean I can't just surf to mozilla.com or opera.com and download an alternate browser because of some sort of blocking mechanism? Wow, I just never noticed that before. Guess I'll have to look closer.

Re:The alternative is much worse (5, Informative)

bami (1376931) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517219)

The IE rendering engine (especially in XP, no experience with Vista) is so tightly integrated it's not funny any more. Every application besides your browser will use IE, loads of applications just go "iexplore.exe http://www.awesomecorpsite.com/ [awesomecorpsite.com]" instead of digging in the registry to get the correct browser (MSN Messenger used to open up Hotmail or Windows Live Mail with IE by default, you had to install third party hacks to get firefox to open it), and it's just everywhere.
The fact that Explorer is just an extension of IE (XP still opens IE when you type a url into the adress bar of Explorer) speaks for itself.

IE is everywhere in XP, less in Vista, but thanks to some EU regulations, no more in Windows 7. So until that day, yes, you are forced to use IE.

Re:The alternative is much worse (1)

Freetardo Jones (1574733) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517245)

So until that day, yes, you are forced to use IE.

Funny cause other than initially downloading Firefox I've never used IE on any of my computers since Firefox 1.0.

Re:The alternative is much worse (1)

Freetardo Jones (1574733) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517403)

BTW, I don't consider the use of Trident by the OS to be "using IE" anymore than a use of Gecko is "using Firefox" or a use of WebKit is "using Safari".

Re:The alternative is much worse (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517565)

But how is it any different? After all, all IE really just a shell for trident. I could in a few lines of VB "make" a browser that had a totally different UI that ran trident, would you consider that the same thing as IE? Or is my browser suddenly different? And yes, effectively the use of Gecko is more or less "using Firefox" in the fact that it uses a major component of Firefox that is the main component in Firefox itself.

Re:The alternative is much worse (2, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517435)

Yes, you have. You might not have been presented with the IE interface, but you did use the IE rendering engine (Trident).

Re:The alternative is much worse (2, Funny)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517547)

You're not a real geek.. I got my copy via ftp just so i didnt have to use IE... :D

Re:The alternative is much worse (4, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517353)

The fact that Explorer is just an extension of IE (XP still opens IE when you type a url into the adress bar of Explorer) speaks for itself

Yeah, it's almost like you have this "operating system," and it's designed to open files and stuff. And it's almost like the company that makes that operating system is, you know, a software company. And it's almost like they've realized that a browser-type app is the right front-end metaphor for most of the information that typical users of their operating system will want to see. So Eeeeeevil of them to provide a basic information tool as a built-in and well-integrated part of the operating system that is being used to, you know, work with information.

I suppose you'd also prefer that their OS didn't ship with a file system, or at least preferred that the file system was very poorly coupled to the operating system and the user experience? Excellent idea! In fact, the operating system maker has no business deciding what tools their customers might find useful. Other companies and governments should be in charge of designing the software made by that company. We can't have companies deciding what features to add to their own products, or what sort coupling with a web browser their own operating system should have. No way. That's too much freedom for a software company. We can't have freedom. We have to have software designed by goverment committees and courts! Unless, of course, it's a Mac, and that's OK. Or a Linux distro.

Re:The alternative is much worse (1, Interesting)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517487)

Apple doesnt have a MONOPOLY. That the part of the argument you are forgetting. MS used its MONOPOLY in Operating Systems to stifle the browser segment, which at the time, were still thought of as a pay product. And to avoid being told to take it out, they claimed it was integral to the OS, and COULDNT be removed. Which made every geek in the world roll his eyes in disbelief.

Re:The alternative is much worse (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28517629)

The point is that IE can't be replaced. WLM still opens IE you try to look at your inbox - even if you have something else set as your default browser. Windows has a method to open default browser with a certain URL, but they don't even use it in their own products!

  can be replaced as soon as your new browser asks if you want to set it as the new default browser.

I'm not so sure about Mac - wouldn't surprise me either way.

Re:The alternative is much worse (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517615)

loads of applications just go "iexplore.exe http://www.awesomecorpsite.com/ [awesomecorpsite.com]" instead of digging in the registry to get the correct browser

So the fact that some developers are lazy is proof that IE is a monopoly that needs to be curtailed?

Sign me up for your next logic class.

Re:The alternative is much worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28516929)

jkjk

"competition is a click away." (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#28516695)

So did Google pay Microsoft to make Bing, a la Microsoft and Apple?

Slow Down Cowboy!
Slashdot requires you to wait between each successful posting of a comment to allow everyone a fair chance at posting a comment.
It's been 1 minute since you last successfully posted a comment

But, but... I almost had first post!

They're not big. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28516711)

They only dominate the market because of one thing.

They made a search engine that works and doesn't piss everyone off with flashing blinking ads everywhere!

Did google do anything to make all the other search engines suck ass? No.

Did google buy out the competition so they were #1? No.

Google just made a good service people CHOOSE to use.

Re:They're not big. (5, Interesting)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 4 years ago | (#28516915)

You're exactly right. Bing does do some pretty neat things. But I use Google Documents, GMail, and am eagerly awaiting Voice when it comes out. Google just knows how to make products people want to use, and how to keep them free.

Re:They're not big. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28517041)

Could not have said it better.

Re:They're not big. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28517065)

Did google buy out the competition so they were #1? No.

Er.. curious how you got to 'no'

Google did google video, it wasnt doing well, they bought Youtube and are now #1.

Google did maps, it was okay but not #1, they bought Keyhole(now google earth) and advanced their tech to become #1

They've also bought sketchup, grandcentral(google voice), and a few other smaller projects with varying success.

Re:They're not big. (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517409)

Yes, and as you probably know, YouTube isn't exactly turning a huge profit. They have brand recognition and thats about it. And while YouTube was certainly competition to Google it wasn't profitable back then. Basically YouTube was a company with no business model other than "lets get a popular site going, get some ad revenue to hopefully keep up the servers, get some venture capitalists for initial funding then hope for someone (like Google) to buy them.

And really the rest of the companies weren't really competitors but rather smaller companies which are acquired by almost every business that is medium sized or large.

Re:They're not big. (5, Insightful)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517163)

Right. The difference between Google's market share and Microsoft's share is that I can take my email elsewhere, I can search another site, and I can go to any of 50 video sites. I never have to look at another Google app the rest of my life and I'm not going to have to suffer to pay rent. With Microsoft, you can't just pack up your Games, Office applications/Exchange app, and development suites and move to Linux. You can't work in the business world without having to support Microsoft in one way or another... or find a job that has nothing to do with computers.

It's a matter of being able to leave if you don't like the service. Anyone can leave Google in an hour if they wanted. Even though I use Linux daily, I still have to use Windows at work and at home if I want to play the latest game.

Re:They're not big. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517553)

Not really, can you honestly say that you can ditch out of Google's ad service without paying a heavy price? Businesses have had alternatives to MS for longer than MS has been into OSes. Ads on the other hand, if you don't sign on with Google, the number of sites you can get your ads onto is pretty small. And relatively few of them are large sites.

Re:They're not big. (2, Interesting)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517575)

Wait so it's Microsoft's fault that 3rd parties are developing on their OS only?

Well that makes sense.

Re:They're not big. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28517183)

Even if everyone in the world stopped using their search engine tomorrow, their advertising network is still huge.

Re:They're not big. (1)

demachina (71715) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517415)

The problem with Google and competition is they have giant rivers of money coming in from their search/ad monopoly. I'm somewhat less concerned about their search business being a monopoly than the fact it gives them rivers of money that they can pour in to other markets, do things for free, and destroy everyone who can't afford to do the same thing for free. Its kind of like Microsoft leveraging its Windows monopoly to destroy Netscape by giving IE away for free.

Google can afford to do Google News and GMail for free only because their search business subsidizes them. Google News is a little insidious because it leeches all its news from news websites, and completely marginalizes and commoditizes them. The new sites pay to gather and publish the news, Google exploits it to build their traffic, and pays nothing for it. Taken to a future logicial conclusion it may wipe out existing newspapers and journalism and then there is a question who will gather the news for Google to leech. Though to be fair Craiglist did more to destroy newspapers than Google. Sure Google News drive traffic to news sites but its extremely transient traffic and its referrals probably seldom return until Google News sends them back again.

Android is kind of nice idea to dethrone the proprietary mobile OS's but the only reason Google can afford to do it is because their search monopoly subsidizes it. Its a conundrum, its nice to have an open source mobile OS and free services, but is it fair that Google uses its search monopoly to subsidize them which is an advantage most other companies don't have. They are effectively eliminating competition in a number of areas outside of search, which is the really big danger of monopolies, that they leverage their monopoly to seize new markets.

Re:They're not big. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28517599)

I completely disagree with you when it comes to Google News.

I read my regular newspaper online everyday. As a Norwegian, that meansd I read:
  - Dagbladet
  - VG
  - Aftenposten
  - Nettavisen
  - digi.no

Of international sites, I read the following "news-sources" every day:
  - theregister
  - slashdot (which doesn't generate its own content)
  - digg (which doesn't generate its own content) .. and I read the economist once a week.

In addition to that, I pop by news.google.com, and finds interesting tidbits in newspapers I never would've visited in the first place, if the news wasn't drawn to my attention. I'll continue to visit my 'main' newspapers every day - but the extra ones - well - they wouldn't have gotten my traffic at if they weren't in google news, as I never would've heard about them.

I just don't see why the companies complain about news.google.com, unless they don't want the traffic.

Re:They're not big. (2, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517571)

I have to agree with the coward, this time. There are more than a dozen search engines out there, all of them trying to install themselves with each browser I download and install. At least a dozen try to give me a freaking toolbar - I think that Yahoo and Ask are the two worst offenders. I always just unclick the radio button, and tell them to go away. Even when I run IE, I set my default to Google. Who needs any of the rest of them? If/when I actually need one, I can enter the freaking address myself, or I can Google for the address.

All the rest of them can just bite my bling bing bling. If they want market share, they need to offer something as good as, or better than, what Google offers. Til then, bling bing bling all of them, and the donkeys they rode up on as well!

Re:They're not big. (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517611)

That's all well and good.

But it has nothing to do with the fact that abuse of their dominant position is undesirable, and the DoJ is tasked with ensuring they do not abuse their position, no matter how they got it.

You can be the nicest kid on the block, and everyone buys candy from you because you're a nice guy, and you have low prices, and your quality is good. But once all the other candy-sellers leave for greener pastures, you can't use your new-found dominance to keep them from coming back via defined uncompetive behavior, like paying the candy manufacturers to not sell to your competitors.

Or something. Dammit, my kingdom for a car analogy.

they're not that big by most measures (5, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#28516717)

They might still be subject to antitrust issues if they're dominant in a particular market, but the statement that they "aren't that big" does seem objectively true, by most measures other than public fame.

Some major tech companies by number of employees:

  • IBM: 400,000
  • Microsoft: 90,000
  • Google: 21,000

And by revenue:

  • IBM: $104 billion
  • Microsoft: $60 billion
  • Google: $22 billion

And by net income:

  • Microsoft: $18 billion
  • IBM: $12 billion
  • Google: $4 billion

Re:they're not that big by most measures (1, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28516897)

... but the statement that they "aren't that big" does seem objectively true, by most measures other than public fame.

I disagree. I am no economist or accountant but I believe market cap [wikipedia.org] is a better way to measure the public consensus on the value of a company. And if you look at these figures, Google rivals IBM and Microsoft kills both of them. But this is all moot since they are all large-cap companies falling into the $10 billion to $200 billion range. If Google exists in this range, they cannot go around saying they're "not that big." You effectively compared three of the largest companies in the world today while ignoring 99.9999% of the other ones. You should be truly objective and put those three companies into context of the bigger picture. What's a small to medium search company's market cap? Not over $10 billion.

Re:they're not that big by most measures (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28517059)

Eh... Trepidity was trying to stay with objective measures, not fictional measures inflated by idiots looking for free money.

Using market cap as a measure of anything beyond how well a company's PR engine is working on wall street is rather foolish.

Re:they're not that big by most measures (1)

Freetardo Jones (1574733) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517129)

So he's going to claim with a straight face that a company that pulls in $22 billion in revenue "isn't that big"? In what bizarro world do we live in were that isn't a "big" corporation?

Re:they're not that big by most measures (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517443)

Lately with the massive increase in, well - just plain ignorant investors - you have a point. In theory, though, market cap represents the market's evaluation of the future value of a company - ie if there was "perfect knowledge" about how a company will perform, stock prices would settle and never change. That fits with your comment, too - the job of PR is to pretend that they are providing you knowledge/information when in reality they are "trying to make the company look as good as possible no matter what".

Still, it is a reasonable explanation as to why IBM and Google have similar market caps, even though IBM's profits are 3x Google's... which company do you think is more likely to grow in the next few years? Investors have put their money on Google in that bet...

Re:they're not that big by most measures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28517197)

I disagree. I am no economist or accountant but I believe market cap is a better way to measure the public consensus on the value of a company.

So, like you're an investor then? Silly lemming, go run in the next herd.

Re:they're not that big by most measures (5, Insightful)

macbeth66 (204889) | more than 4 years ago | (#28516921)

How about market cap?

$134 billion for Google.com
$139 billion for IBM
$211 billionfor Microsoft

Re:they're not that big by most measures (2, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517537)

Market cap doesn't mention any actual business activity, though; it's closer to what I was excluding ("public fame"), since it's solely a measure of how much value the investing public perceives a business to have, which is often wildly off the mark.

Re:they're not that big by most measures (2, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517605)

Market cap is meaningless. It's what you can convince one idiot to pay for a share multiplied by the number of shares. It includes, not just the revenue in, but the value of any assets as well as the incredibly difficult to value cost of any IP they have. If Google were trading at a fair value, it would probably be a little over half that large. People are paying for impossible growth.

Worse still is that you couldn't liquidate the shares of any of those companies for anywhere near that amount of money.

Re:they're not that big by most measures (1)

Freetardo Jones (1574733) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517027)

And in what percentile of all corporations do they fall under with those stats? 99.999999999999999999th percentile? To claim that they "aren't that big" just because they are behind IBM or Microsoft is an asinine argument when they are probably bigger than more than 99.99+% of all US businesses.

Re:they're not that big by most measures (2, Insightful)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517261)

They're dominant but not because of ANTICOMPETITIVE measures, they dominate the market because (imho, ofc) their shit is just that good that I want to use it instead of anything else.

If bing maps turns out to be better than google maps I'll use it in a heartbeat.

I got an email that'll fix that! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28516725)

Heck, I've got lots of 'em.

That's Weird, Because Fiscally ... (3, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28516727)

Your market cap is $134 billion [google.com] to put this into perspective IBM's is $139 billion and Microsoft's is $211 billion.

You may well employ far fewer than either of those two giants, but you aren't "running with the big dogs" now ... you are a big dog. If you're pulling in more than a billion per quarter in sheer profit, you're going to lose that argument. Money is more important than number of employees when you're relating to other companies.

Re:That's Weird, Because Fiscally ... (5, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#28516971)

Market Cap is a mixture of future expectations, growth, hype, and irrational exhuberance.

GMGMQ, -- General Motors in a pink sheet -- has a market cap of 677 Million (10 times more than /. corporate parent sourceforge). Yet GM has earnings per share of -$60. Their true value is -$100 billion or so. In a few weeks, they'll finish their bankruptcy and that 677 million in market cap is guaranteed to drop to 0.

Re:That's Weird, Because Fiscally ... (2, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517195)

Market Cap is a mixture of future expectations, growth, hype, and irrational exhuberance.

I hate to break it to you but one of the most important life lessons I learned was "something's only worth what someone will pay for it." And market cap reflects that because it does a good job of telling you what people value the company at. Yes, some of it's the result of a PR engine but there's no way to avoid that. If you don't think the value of everything around you depends on Wall Street and idiots looking to make a buck, you're deluded.

GMGMQ probably doesn't have a future and the public knows this. But they've got asset sheets. Those assets are probably worth half a billion. I don't know, I'm just guessing. VA Sourceforge or whatever it is that owns Slashdot indeed has a brighter future. But be realistic, man! That future plus their assets are worth 1/10th of GMGMQ's assets right now. I don't understand your comparison. All it does is point out that the public views GM as more valuable than Sourceforge and when it drops to zero after everything is sold off ... well, the market cap will reflect this. And since something's only worth what someone will pay for it, all of this is a good measure of how valuable these companies are.

Re:That's Weird, Because Fiscally ... (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517549)

But they've got asset sheets. Those assets are probably worth half a billion. I don't know, I'm just guessing.

They also have $54 billion in debts, and I'm not guessing about that number.

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=GMGMQ.PK [yahoo.com]

Their assets are worth considerably more than a half-billion. They've got $11 billion in cash alone. But their debts dramatically outweigh their assets. That means that the stock will be wiped out, and even creditors (who are in line well ahead of stockholder) will receive nothing.

Conceivably people could continue to trade GM shares among themselves, like Magic cards, but you can't even tap them for mana.

Re:That's Weird, Because Fiscally ... (2, Insightful)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517253)

People like to use whatever numbers make their arguments seem logical.

Re:That's Weird, Because Fiscally ... (1)

Freetardo Jones (1574733) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517341)

I prefer the one that shows that Google is ranked 150 [cnn.com] in the Global 500. What a small corporation they are to only rank a paltry 150 out of the countless millions of corporations that exist in the world.

Re:That's Weird, Because Fiscally ... (1)

rliden (1473185) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517017)

I absolutely agree.

Warning: Obvious Anecdote Ahead:

If you add to that a majority of sites I visit have Google Analytics and many of those have Google Syndication. I know this because I have those scripts blocked. I know this has nothing necessarily to do with spiders finding and ranking sites, but it does tie into the Google machine. I have no doubt that Google analyzes and uses that data. Google is integral to sites getting noticed and getting hits.

I don't see sites having to integrated any other search engines scripts. I don't have to block Bing, Hotbot, Lycos, Alta Vista, or any of those other old search engines that virtually no one uses anymore.

Google is ubiquitous with the web the way Microsoft is with the desktop and IBM is with servers. Just because their numbers aren't as big as the other two, in their respective domains, doesn't mean they aren't top dog on the internet, miles above everyone else.

Competition is a Click Away." (5, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#28516759)

"competition is a click away."

Yeah, just type the word competition in the search field and click on the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button.

Must have? (2, Insightful)

tenverras (855530) | more than 4 years ago | (#28516783)

a must have? Then why is it that every one of my Korean friends say that Google isn't as popular in Korea, which has been confirmed by friends that have gone there to teach and returned, and that the primary search engine used is Naver? It is a little difficult to see what all Naver offers without understanding Korean, but if Naver was to offer an english variant of all the services it offers, it would be a strong competitor to Google.

Keep telling yourselves that (3, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 4 years ago | (#28516797)

While I agree with the statement that Google has not been anticompetitive AND with the statement that competition is "only a click away"*, Google does one thing that still makes them a large company on the order of Microsoft:

Google buys out the competition

Mergers and acquisitions are a matter of course for the technology industry. But when you build your portfolio by simply buying off the leader in a new market space, then you become a holding corporation. That's been the mark of Microsoft for two decades now and it's become the mark of Google as well. Google Groups (DejaNews), Google Docs (Writely), Youtube, Google Analytics (Urchin), Android, etc. all testify to this.

While I'll grant that Google adds their own spin to the products and often integrates them better than acquisitions made by many of their competitors, it still does not change the fact that Google purchases their markets. And that... that is a damning argument against their "we're not that big" statement.

* Ignoring the competitive advantage of Google's massive infrastructure for a moment.

Re:Keep telling yourselves that (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28516933)

The only one of those companies that Google was actually competing against was YouTube (with Google Video). Google didn't have entries in those other markets until they acquired those companies.

Re:Keep telling yourselves that (2, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517297)

You're looking at it wrong. Google can't purchase Microsoft for Word, so they purchase Writely instead. Bam. Instant competition. Google can't purchase Apple, so they purchase Android instead. Bam. Instant competition. That's how they "compete". By either buying the market outright (e.g. Blogger) or by buying the upcoming competitor to a competitor they can't buy.

Microsoft, Oracle, and even IBM do the same thing.

I've also left out several direct competitors like DoubleClick, Outride, Kaltix, Sprinks, Genius Labs, Baidu, Picasa, Keyhole, and others. Google just shops the competition until they find the features they need, then integrate them into their products.

Re:Google buys out the competition (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28517069)

At least Google continues the bought-out product line, with something on-par with the original value. Many companies buy out a competitor to kill the product line.

Other companies, tech or otherwise, destroy the competition. For example, the automobile industry bought out & eliminated trolleys. Microsoft ate Sysbase.

Don't get me wrong. This is a monopolistic approach, but it doesn't destroy tech innovation. It just wrecks capitalism.

Re:Keep telling yourselves that (4, Insightful)

MBoffin (259181) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517159)

I don't know how strong my point will be here, since I haven't bothered to look up the data, but I wonder....

How many of the companies Google has bought out were publicly-traded companies? From first look, it doesn't seem like that many at all. And if that's the case, then the companies that sold out to Google, did so of their own volition and not because they were beholden to their public investors to make a decision that would make more money for the investors.

Re:Keep telling yourselves that (2, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517421)

Hostile takeovers are extremely rare in this day in age. Mostly because public companies now structure their shares to prevent such takeovers.

If someone waves enough money under your nose, OF COURSE you're going to sell out. If someone offered to make me a multimillionaire AND allow me to continue working on my project, I'd be like "hell yeah!" Especially when we're talking about a generally friendly company like Google.

That being said, your argument is neither here nor there. Google is BIG with a capital B. Not horrible, not bad, not soul-sucking, not EVIL, just "Big". Trying to convince the market otherwise is a lost cause.

Re:Keep telling yourselves that (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517193)

While I agree with the statement that Google has not been anticompetitive AND with the statement that competition is "only a click away"*, Google does one thing that still makes them a large company on the order of Microsoft:

Google buys out the competition

Mergers and acquisitions are a matter of course for the technology industry. But when you build your portfolio by simply buying off the leader in a new market space, then you become a holding corporation. That's been the mark of Microsoft for two decades now and it's become the mark of Google as well. Google Groups (DejaNews), Google Docs (Writely), Youtube, Google Analytics (Urchin), Android, etc. all testify to this.

While I'll grant that Google adds their own spin to the products and often integrates them better than acquisitions made by many of their competitors, it still does not change the fact that Google purchases their markets. And that... that is a damning argument against their "we're not that big" statement.

* Ignoring the competitive advantage of Google's massive infrastructure for a moment.

Don't forget Google Earth (Keyhole), Google Privacy Invasion and Total Advertising Monopolization (Doubleclick), Picasa (Idealab), and SketchUp (@Last Software).

G's changes to purchased software aren't always for the better. They improved Dejanews by indexing a lot of older posts that weren't previously covered, but they also made the search function less effective. They made it easier to block web tracking by reducing the number of sites that need to be blacklisted (with the absorption of Doubleclick), but they then tied the data they collect to their own vast database of evil.

Re:Keep telling yourselves that (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517339)

Can you watch video on Hulu or any of the other major video sites without installing Google software on your PC? Yes. Just because they own the domain name doesn't mean you are tied to use their service. You can always use one of the other online document services as well. You are not bound by the fact that you have to run Google specific software to operate competitively in this world.

Re:Keep telling yourselves that (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517471)

I didn't say they were a total monopoly. I said they were a "Big" corporation. They're running with the likes of Microsoft, IBM, Intel, and Oracle, no matter what they try to tell the DOJ.

(Not that I'm in favor of the DOJ coming down on them like a ton of bricks. But having the threat there is always conducive to keeping large companies honest. ;-))

What's their motto? (2, Funny)

macbeth66 (204889) | more than 4 years ago | (#28516839)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don't_be_evil [wikipedia.org]

They have certainly come a long way. They have become too big, powerful and evil. I have actually gone back to Yahoo, out of principle.

Somewhat (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28516855)

They are THAT big (that's what she said) but it's true that competition is just a click away. Apart from the obvious of just using another search engine, any documents you have on google docs can be converted properly to a lot of open source formats and you can leave. Social networking? Plenty of those. News aggregators? Plenty of those. Rss feeds? Plenty. Geolocation? Just throw on a tracker and use your own maps.
Really, there's nothing google does that can't be done by anyone else. They just do it damn well.
Fuck you microsoft and other motherfucking disable-fucking-copy-paste-if-licence-expires Office counterparts, THAT is anti-competitive, not google.

I agree (0)

Tracy Reed (3563) | more than 4 years ago | (#28516885)

They are big but not that big. And as far as I can see they do nothing to keep others out of the market. And prices are still quite good. Hard to see an anti-competitive effects in this market. Anyone else can run a search engine and nothing is stopping anyone from using it.

Re:I agree (2, Interesting)

Freetardo Jones (1574733) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517095)

They are big but not that big.

So you aren't that big when you are probably bigger than more than 99.99% of all businesses in the world? I'm sorry, but that's bullshit.

But Competition is Indeed a Click Away (1, Insightful)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 4 years ago | (#28516913)

Remember when Google was just the engine behind Yahoo? And then people just started going to Google.

And guess what? I can set my homepage to anything I want.

"Dethroned if it stops innovating" (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517007)

Mr. Wagner, not surprisingly, takes issue with the image of Google as unshakable monopoly. Google achieved its market position by offering superior products and could quickly be dethroned if it stops innovating, he said.

This is likely true of any internet-based company. If the clicks stop coming Google would quickly become Altavista. Gmail would become Pegasus. Time will march right on by and the 'hot and new' will become 'ancient', just as it has in the past.

Until Google reaches a point where it becomes virtually impossible to field a competing site successfully, I think the word 'monopoly' is a bit premature.

"We can't compete," may well be true, but that would not seem to be due to anything specific that Google is doing to stop us.

If you have to tell us... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28517063)

If you have to tell us that there is competition, then really there isn't any.

Free Market!?!? (1)

S7urm (126547) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517093)

'They describe where they are in a market under a kind of a fairy-tale spun gloss that doesn't reflect their dominance of key sectors,' said Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. 'Google search is an absolute must-have for every marketer in the world.'"

This makes me wonder, 1. Isn't "An absolute must-have" kind of the point of creating, promoting, and maintaining anything in a modern economy, and 2. SO WHAT?!?! Google, while a gargantuan entity in the Search and On-Line AD world, doesn't employ tactics that scream anti-trust to me just see http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=yahoo&aq=f&oq=&aqi=g10 [google.com], I mean they link to their competitor's very prominently in their own search terms. Do you picture Mircosoft linking to Apple? Probably not.

I think people in general need to understand, that the more and more we attempt to stifle large companies, the more you are also stifling Innovation, which is the lifeblood of technological advancement. We need to be able to promote innovation without worrying people that their successes will be capped out as soon as some loser company decides to start rattling the anti-trust sabre at them. I think Google is a wonderful company, that has not only an excellant suite of products, but has also shown true innovation in a field dominated by innovation. They survived the dot-com bubble burst, they have an enormous philanthropic entity, and they provide their end-users with products that are not only top of the line, but in some cases even open sourced.

They should be lauded, not trampled by an outdated set of theories regarding anti-trust, since those same laws and regulations were set in place in a time period when competition WAS scarce, and the lack of communication and innovation technologies were lax at best. I highly dought we'll ever see another Big Oil, or Big Railroad, or Big Business again in the sense of the businesses that were around that spawned the need for such laws.

Re:Free Market!?!? (2, Informative)

fracai (796392) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517263)

This makes me wonder, 1. Isn't "An absolute must-have" kind of the point of creating, promoting, and maintaining anything in a modern economy, and 2. SO WHAT?!?! Google, while a gargantuan entity in the Search and On-Line AD world, doesn't employ tactics that scream anti-trust to me just see http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=yahoo&aq=f&oq=&aqi=g10 [google.com], I mean they link to their competitor's very prominently in their own search terms. Do you picture Mircosoft linking to Apple? Probably not.

Could have fooled me.
http://www.bing.com/search?q=apple&go=&form=QBLH [bing.com]

I agree about the innovation stifling though.

Google, what about not pushing it? (2, Insightful)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517135)

OK, lets say Google is not that big, not evil but some people will be afraid from any company who has that kind of market share in information market.

So, people are a bit paranoid right? Human nature...

Why would that company ship a "updater" application/framework and code it in a way to run every 2 hours with (super user) Administrator powers on both Windows and OS X? Also, why wouldn`t it go away when all google apps removed? It is clear that you made the guy paranoid and guy got rid of all your software. You still push it by keeping the updater application (and its socket) open for 24 hours.

I hate to give Adobe as example but, even Adobe CS4 suite which people buy with their credit card, giving their phone and address to Adobe and pay more than thousand dollars runs updater application, in current user power only when the host applications (photoshop, reader etc) running.

I am speaking about paranoia here and it doesn`t really have to have a technical reason. People, especially Windows users are afraid of such behavior, ask any Windows developer out there. OS X users are not that paranoid yet but they are allergic to software needlessly using Admin powers. When OS X users ask, Google says "but our updater will also update kernel modules etc. in future", what a GREAT way to make guy totally nuts eh?

You really have a example in hand. Real Networks. Why repeat history? Also Real Networks isn`t running a huge search engine which easily finds personal data on web.

Why do they need to defend themselves? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28517187)

There is another company we should be looking at when it comes to anticompetitive and monopolistic behavior far before we even consider Google. We all know which company this is. For those of you completely oblivious to the past few decades, it is obviously Microsoft. There is not a day that goes by that I am not angry about their dominance in the computer industry. The disgusting nature of their rise to power and the fact that they have not stopped damaging the very industry I had fallen in love with when I was young makes me feel sick and drains my hope that this country is about freedom.

Anyone attacking Google needs to step back and seriously take another look at history. Success means nothing when you are inflicting serious harm to others and doing a bad job at what you are supposed to be doing in the first place. Microsoft and its cronies from the beginning had only one goal, power. This unfortunately came at the expense of holding back progress in the entire industry. Of course it is far more complicated, but overall, we all know the core of Microsoft is evil.

Will we ever see any serious action taken against Microsoft and its cronies? Or will another competitor to Microsoft be taking the fire?

Google is not big enough. And I hope some day they will be so that the Microsoft monopoly finally withers away.

better than altavista? (1)

fyoder (857358) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517299)

What, has someone come up with a search engine that's better than altavista [altavista.com]? Sorry, just getting up from a nap.

Crome (1)

Niris (1443675) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517309)

I love how there's a Google Crome banner and ad on the page for this article.

On a more serious note, it is a bit ridiculous that they're saying they aren't a HUGE part of the market, but I can see their point of there being others (like Yahoo and MSN) that are also out there. They're exaggerating the Hell out of what they're saying, but there's at least SOME truth behind it.

It's true! (1)

htwf_and_ip (1248696) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517485)

A quick google search for "Big, Monopolistic Search Engines who crush competition" comes up with one response:
www.bing.com

Everything is relative. (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#28517609)

Just as here, where the size, compared to the space to occupy, is the point. And in some areas, Google is the Internet equivalent of Photoshop's flood-fill tool.

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