Antitrust Chief: Google is a Monopolist Threat

Apparently President Obama’s Antitrust Chief sees internet giant Google as an monopolistic threat. Picking our jaws up off of the floor for just a moment, let’s take a look at what Christine A. Varney had to say.

According to Gizmodo, Varney said Microsoft was “so last century” and “not the problem,” when it comes to anti-trust issues. Last June, Varney spoke during a panel discussion sponsored by the American Antitrust Institute about Google and its business practices. While she praised the “terrific work” done by the Mountain View company and the lawful way it built up its monopoly she wasn’t all rainbows on the topic.

 "[The U.S. economy will] continually see a problem — potentially with Google [because it already] has acquired a monopoly in Internet online advertising," Gizmodo quotes Varney as saying. “[Google is] quickly gathering market power in what I would call an online computing environment in the clouds. When all our enterprises move to computing in the clouds and there is a single firm that is offering a comprehensive solution, you are going to see the same repeat of Microsoft," she added.

Google narrowly escaped antitrust proceedings in what was supposed to be an advertising deal with search competitor, Yahoo!. The two companies apparently spent significant time drawing up the deal; and when initial concerns were raised by the U.S. Department of Justice, Google delayed the deal by three months to give the government time to conduct its inquiry.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt said last September that the deal was designed in such a way to meet government standards, however the company announced that continuing the effort was not in the best interests of Google or its users in November. News later emerged that the two companies decided to ditch the deal soon after after Department of Justice officials informed them of its plans to file an antitrust complaint. A complete turn around on the “we’ll go ahead no matter what the Department of Justice says,” attitude upheld during the months of investigation.

  • matt2k
    haha, computing in the clouds. What a lofty scheme.
    and yes, i know it means cloud computing, i just like the wording.

  • neiroatopelcc
    I'm glad someone smart actually thinks the same I do about Google.
    I respect the impressive accomplishments of the company, but can't completely ignore the obvious threat they've accomplished to become.
    But in a way Google has become as important as gasoline! While I couldn't get to work without gas, I couldn't do my work without google. They're that effective. Respect.
    But good someone is looking at the flip side of the coin as well. Regular consumers might not want to.
  • matt2k
    Fair enough, but google software is all free and they in no way purposely make it incompatible with other software available.
    They also most certainly dont try and edge out any competition, the only reason they're so big is because they're efficient.
    Also, no one forces anybody to use only google made stuff. People do it voluntarily.

  • squatchman
    It's not the search engine, GMail, or Google docs that people are worried about Matt. Even google doesn't worry about those projects, they exist as ways for the company to spend money and nothing more. The powers-that-be are worried that Google will edge out competitors in advertising. Even the article says that much.

    Google makes Microsoft look like Gandhi, their product is the manipulation of consumers.
  • crom
    Google is making sky computers!
  • WheelsOfConfusion
    squatchman Google makes Microsoft look like Gandhi, their product is the manipulation of consumers.Settle down, boy. Google is nowhere near as bad as Microsoft was in their heyday of monopolistic practices. MSN and Yahoo! also have competitive internet advertising.
    That said, I'm disappointed with some of the tacks Google is taking lately. The stealth-install of the Updater, for example.
  • nekatreven
    I for one am worried about GMail and Google docs as much as anything else.

    "What a great idea! Lets give Google a copy of every corporate document we've ever produced! Wait! Hell! Throw in all our email too!"

    You do know that most of the ads in Docs and GMail are based on your data, right? For people that use their services frequently, Google knows everything you look for online, every word in your emails, all of your documents... this 'Google Location' stuff? Yea, now they know where you are too. Google checkout?: Everything you buy. Google Calendar, get the picture.

    The list goes on and on and on. Even for people that don't use them that much...if you could see the data they (probably) have on you you'd shit yourself.

    Then, after all of can just start to consider all of the top end data centers and dedicated fiber they've bought up over the years. They own basically the most advanced consumer satellite imaging system on the planet. Now google andriod is in your phone...

    HOWEVER. They seem to have been trust-worthy with all of this so far. I use their search and checkout services myself. One of their core values has always been that you don't have to be evil to make money, and good lord I hope they keep that slogan.
  • afrobacon
    I've always been a huge google fan, but recently I'm noticing some ads that are becoming more annoying then anything; the in-video youtube ads for example. It's still no where near as bad as the toolbar.

    I respect google for all they've done. Their products are for the most part free and usually better then a majority of the competition. If their going monopolize in one market to further innovation in others I'm all for it.
  • jhansonxi
    nekatrevenI for one am worried about GMail and Google docs as much as anything else."What a great idea! Lets give Google a copy of every corporate document we've ever produced! Wait! Hell! Throw in all our email too!"Unless you are encrypting your e-mail and documents then any ISP you use has the same access to your data.
  • eddieroolz
    I agree with the ads in YouTube video, we're already bombarded with so many Google ads, do we need MORE in a video? It's purely annoying to have to click close every single time.