How long will Google control the internet ?

Google control the internet

How long will Google control the internet ?

This article is part of a Recode series on Big Tech and antitrust. Over the past several weeks, we’ve reported on the developments involving Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Meta, and Google.

There’s a brand new Big Tech antitrust bill in town, and this bill is particularly painful for Google. The lawmakers are headed by Senator. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the competition as well as the Transparency in Digital Advertising Act on Thursday.

The bipartisan and bipartisan law would prohibit any business with greater than 20 billion of digital advertising revenues which is Google and Meta basically to own different parts of the online advertising chain. Google must choose between being a seller or a buyer selling or operating an ad exchange that combines the two. It is currently the owner of the three components and is plagued by claims that it denies that it is using its ability to unfairly manipulate this market in its favor. “This lack of competition in digital advertising means that monopoly rents are being imposed upon every website that is ad-supported and every company — small, medium, or large — that relies on internet advertising to grow its business,” Sen. Lee said in a statement. “It is essentially a tax on thousands of American businesses, and thus a tax on millions of American consumers.”

Google has stated in a press release that it was “the wrong bill, at the wrong time, aimed at the wrong target,” and that its advertising tools create higher quality ads and safeguard users’ privacy. The new legislation to the number of antitrust problems Google has. Although the media has paid greater attention to concerns of rivals Apple as well as Meta, Google is potentially being in greater trouble than any Big Tech company. The federal and state governments have filed four antitrust suits each within one year of the other. In October of 2020 Google, the Department of Justice, and 14 state attorneys general filed suit against Google for alleged unfair practices that were used to keep their search engine as well as advertising monopoly.

On December, 38 additional attorney generals of state filed a similar lawsuit. If you add both lawsuits, each state, with the exception of Alabama along with Puerto Rico, DC, and Guam is currently suing Google over its business in search. On July 37 other attorney generals from the state filed a lawsuit against Google in connection with Google’s Google Play mobile application store. A different group comprising 17 attorney generals is suing Google for the ad-tech industry that Lee’s bill targets.

That lawsuit was filed a day following the state AGs filed a search case. There are also lawsuits filed by Epic Games and Match Group over Google’s app store, and it’s possible that there’s a chance of additional lawsuits with the DOJ to follow. Also, there’s a flurry of Big Tech-related antitrust laws and laws all over the globe to be battling. It’s too early to tell what the odds are the Lee bill is going to pass anyplace.

We do know that two antitrust legislation from both parties are on the verge of being passed into law, and are likely to be in place before the time the summer is over. Both of them prohibit Google from offering its own products the top spot over the platforms it controls and operates. the Open App Markets Act will force users of the Google Play app store to comply with certain regulations, and the American Innovation and Choice Online Act restrict self-referencing on platforms Big Tech companies own and operate. Google cannot make its own products the most prominent positions in Google results for example unless the products earned the spot organically. All of this is a testament to the power and ubiquity of Google. What was once a modest search engine has become so ingrained into every aspect of our online lives that it’s hard for anyone to think of how our internet could be able to function without it. However, this power might have been acquired and kept in a way that is unfair, in ways that have hurt competitors as well as customers, even though the majority of Google’s services remain well-known and free.

There wasn’t always a way to do it this way. Google was at one time regarded as an innovative and disruptive startup that offered a huge improvement over the slow and easily manipulated search engines created through Yahoo as well as AltaVista. The company’s slogan is “Don’t be evil,” its algorithm produced superior results and quickly was able to establish itself as the market leader.

It then revolutionized the market once more by putting advertisements on search results that targeted what people were looking for -the idea that the company derived from a lesser-known and now-defunct search engine known as GoTo. The search ads of Google proved so successful that to this day, it is the largest source of revenue for Google. In 2021, Google’s search ads generated nearly 150 billion dollars. This is more than any different Google revenue source in the world combined. Many credit Google’s success in the advertising business due to its acquisition in 2007 of DoubleClick for $3.1 billion. The acquisition was viewed with suspicion by officials at the Federal Trade Commission, but the commission ultimately agreed to the deal. (At least one commissioner who voted in favor of this merger, William Kovacic, has admitted that he regrets the decision now that he has reflected.) The FTC began looking at Google once after, in 2011, and began an inquiry into the company’s anti-competitive practices in ads and searches. Although a leak of an FTC employee report revealed that agency employees believed that they had evidence that the FTC could have a case against Google, however, the commissioners did not pursue an investigation rather than negotiating an agreement from Google to alter its business practices, or deciding they believed Google’s conduct was justifiable as they enhanced Google’s service and the experience of its users. This decision has been blamed in part due to an aspect of the Obama administration’s positive relations with Google.

It is also possible to say the federal government repeatedly underestimated the size Google will become if allowed to expand uncontrolled. However, Google isn’t what it was a decade ago, and it’s not thought of in the same manner. The antitrust reckoning appears to be upon us. What is yet to be determined is how serious it could be.

What is the reason? Google claims to hurt competitors

The case of Luther Lowe, the senior vice president of public policy at Yelp and a long-time Google critic is the culmination of nearly a decade of effort to convince lawmakers and enforcement officials that Google has illegally consolidated its own authority and made money by hurting businesses similar to his. Lowe’s motivations for self-interest are evident: Yelp found itself in competition in the same space as Google when Google introduced the version it had developed of user-generated business reviews.

Google places its reviews at the very top of the results on search engines and above Yelp’s organic results. “Yelp is a great example of the type of service that can be undermined when a gatekeeper chooses to put its hand on the scale,” Lowe explained to Recode. However, Lowe stresses, that he isn’t alone in arguing that the dominance of Google makes it difficult for others to be competitive. Google claims it is competing in all its markets, however, it also has the highest market share in the majority of these. Google isn’t able to provide its own numbers, however, in the search engines, it’s estimated that they are holding around 90% of the world market. In web browsers, Google Chrome has around 65 percent. For mobile operating systems Google’s Android is around 70% globally (in the United States, Android is only forty percent and Apple’s iOS is almost all the remaining). Of course, there are other Google products, including many that are leaders in their own categories: YouTube, Gmail, and even that display advertising business.

In the US it is legal to be a huge and profitable company, and even possessing a monopoly isn’t
a crime. However, when a company starts taking advantage of its power to hurt the competition
and its customers that you’re likely to be looking at antitrust violations. These are the issues that
the lawsuits focus on and what the antitrust legislation is trying to stop.


The lawsuit filed by the DOJ along with 14 states, as well as the one filed by 38 other states and
territories examines the monopoly of Google’s search engine. The DOJ’s case is focused
specifically on “exclusionary agreements” Google allegedly signed with other companies to
ensure its search engine remains dominant. Google isn’t only the default engine in Chrome but
Google is also the search engine that’s the default for Apple’s Safari as well as Mozilla’s Firefox.


However, Apple and Mozilla did not necessarily choose Google because they believe that it’s
the most effective choice for users. Google paid for the privilege. It is believed that the company
will pay billions of dollars every year to Apple as well as several hundred million to Mozilla to fill
that default location.

This sum is the largest portion of Mozilla’s funds and is a substantial
portion of Apple’s earnings, too.


Google invests so much money to be the most popular search engine because it earns many
times more through the ads that are displayed that appear in search results. More importantly,
the ability of Google to determine what the majority of the internet is searching for constantly
helps inform other aspects of its operations. It is after all an organization that is built on
information.


DuckDuckGo is a competing browser that doesn’t gather information about users and privacy is
among its strengths however, it’s just a small portion of the market Google does. This is due to
the fact that DuckDuckGo claims, it’s difficult for users to change their default browser’s choice,
which happens to be nearly always Google. The ability to change the default search engine is
typically hidden in the user’s settings and the assumption is that users are aware that it’s an
option.


“People don’t decide to use Google, that decision is made for them,” Kamyl Bazbaz from
DuckDuckGo’s vice president of communications stated. “What’s best for Google is to keep
people using Google so they can gather behavioral data, and use that data to keep people
using Google in a vicious cycle that keeps users tethered to their products.”
This isn’t how Google perceives it.


“People use Google because they choose to, not because they’re forced to or because they
can’t find alternatives,” Kent Walker, Google’s global affairs director, said in a statement
regarding the DOJ’s suit. “This lawsuit will do nothing to aid consumers. In fact, it will artificially
push the lower-quality alternatives to search and increase the cost of phone calls and make it
more difficult for consumers to access the services they would like to make use of.”


Walker was also adamant that Google was not the only one to enter into such deals and also
that it competes against Microsoft’s Bing search engine.

Then there’s the lawsuit against Google’s Google Play Store. It’s similar to the charges that
were made against Apple regarding the App Store However, unlike Apple has been able to only
allow only one App Store for its devices Google’s Android devices offer alternative apps and
allow users for downloading apps from the developer’s websites.


However, according to the lawsuit, Google doesn’t make it easy for users to use alternative
stores. It compensates manufacturers and developers for not developing or utilizing alternative
stores and also pays or demands that they preload Google apps onto the smartphones they
market. The devices that run the Google version of Android are also required to have Google’s
Play Store already installed. Android devices also display security warnings on apps that are
downloaded from outside the Google Play Store. Google Play store to prevent users from
downloading applications from these stores.


The result is that 95 % of Android apps in the US are downloaded via Google Play Store.
Google Play Store, according to the app intelligence firm Sensor Tower. This is nearly as big an
exclusive market on Android phones as Apple’s App Store has on Apple. Andy Yen, CEO of
Proton AG, which makes the secure email service ProtonMail as well as other software that is
focused on privacy echoes numerous developers’ complaints regarding the Play Store. Play
Store.


Yen claims that it’s “technically possible but practically impossible” to utilize an alternative app
store. He claims it is “suicide” if Proton didn’t offer its apps on the Play Store. However, being on
the Play Store implies that Proton uses an app store owned by the company that makes its most
popular competitor: Gmail. Proton also gives money to Google since Google requires
applications that are available in the Play Store to utilize its in-app payment system which earns
a 15-30% commission.


Google stated that it offers “more openness and choice” in its app market in comparison to
others (Apple) and also that it competes with not only Android app stores but Apple’s as well.
Google is also pointing out that the commissions it charges for its app stores are similar to the
other app stores.


In addition to the lawsuit involving apps and two other lawsuits focused on search, Google is
also being accused by a lesser number of attorneys general from state governments regarding
its digital ads and technology business. The suit is primarily aimed at the display advertising
business of Google -also known as everything that isn’t related to searches and YouTube ads
that made the sum of more than 30 billion in revenue last year.


The way it works is If you visit any website that has advertisements, a lot of them are likely to
come from digital ad platforms as well as exchanges, where advertisers compete to place their
ads in front of viewers who are most likely to interact with them, based on information that the
advertisers or ad companies have about those viewers. The whole process can take a fraction
of a second and soon you’ll be seeing ads for the same shoes you browsed on another site
earlier in the week.

The intricacies of the world of ad technology are intricate and obscure however the essence of
the argument made by State Attorney Generals is that Google has the largest share of the
digital ad industry, and holds stakes in all aspects of it –- including the entire technology stack of
ad tech. To establish that dominance, Google purchased DoubleClick about 15 years ago and it
is the reason Google continues to buy companies in the field of ad technology since.


Google’s power and size as well as its control, according to the suit, makes it difficult for other
companies to compete with its advertising tech business. Google claims it is in the middle of
competition in an extremely competitive market. However, Amazon has the sole one with
complete control of the technology stack for advertising as Google does and no other company
has the size of market share in these areas (estimates range between 90 percent and 100
percent in the market for the publisher ad servers to 50 percent of the market for supply-side
platforms) which Google has. They don’t also get access to the volume of user data Google
owns across its sites which makes advertising more effective and useful.


“There are other options, but those other options are typically going to offer even less to either
end, the publisher or advertiser, in terms of net value,” Fiona Scott Morton who is an economics
professor at Yale explained. Scott Morton, a former DOJ antitrust official who has researched
the ad industry of Google and the alleged monopolization of markets, as well in the field of
antitrust expert for Amazon as well as Apple.


It’s not just advertisers who suffer. Publishers and advertisers are also affected when Google
manipulates the market.

Google’s dominance allows it to make money from the ads its services
purchase and sell, but with no information to the public about the amount of profit, it earns. It’s
particularly bad for media companies who depend on ads to finance their activities.


Google states that it charges less or is equal to the industry standard and has lots of
competition. Google also observes that in terms of industry the cost of advertising and other
fees have decreased over time. However, Scott Morton says that doesn’t reflect what the
landscape might look like in the event that Google was not so dominant across all areas of it.


“Would the digital ad world be better in terms of output and price and quality and innovation if
there were two or three firms trying to place digital ads?” she asked. “I think the answer to that is
a clear ‘yes.'”
How Google could harm consumers
How does any of this harm you as a customer? In the end, most of Google’s services are free,
so it’s not that the absence of competition is raising the cost of their products. It’s likely that you
utilize at least one of the many Google services, and you’re likely to like it.


However, there are many things that you’re not receiving. Google has become the most
well-known search engine due to its designers who came up with a method to deliver better and
more speedy results than other search engines. We aren’t sure whether Apple can create a
better search engine, since Google is currently paying Apple millions of dollars that it doesn’t

have to the company, and we’re not sure whether Google’s search would be better when it faced
actual rivals (despite Microsoft’s efforts Bing’s share of the market for search engines remains
tiny, at around 3.5% globally).


With the rise of Google’s dominance in search, the company also revamped its homepage from
an uninteresting listing of links to remove users from its platform as fast as they could and to
keep users on the platform as long as possible. This is why in the past, the results of searches
have changed from a list of hyperlinks with just a handful of advertisements at the top of the
page to a site that’s populated with Google’s own services. According to a report for 2020 by the
Markup found, it’s getting more difficult and less accessible organic results for searches on
Google due to the fact that Google’s own offerings, such as its search ads, could fill all the
space. (Google declares that the Markup’s research has been “flawed and misleading” and is
based on a “non-representative sample of searches”)
Google claims that these additional features make its search results more effective. However, if
the results Google provides aren’t as effective as natural results — as the Markup states that
they may not be and you’re not sure why then Google uses its influence to steer you towards
the wrong product. The best results are available from Google however, they might not be the
most effective results for you.


It is possible that you are spending more money on apps via the Google Play Store since apps
require Google’s payment system in-app and give Google an enviable percentage. The
companies have to make it up, and maybe it comes from you.


“It’s essentially a tax on the internet,” Yen from Proton explained. “These costs are transferred to
the consumers since there is no 30% profits margin you’re likely to be required to pass on
certain of these expenses. … Customers will be hit with increased prices due to.”
These increased costs could be applied to ads on the internet, too.
“If the advertiser is paying more than a competitive price, it’s paying a monopoly price to get
those ads, then the consumer at the end of the day is bearing the cost,” Scott Morton said.
“They’re going to be built into the price of the product.”


If Google takes a competitive portion of the digital ads they sell this means the site that the ads
are placed on is earning less from them than it normally would receive. If the site is offering
gratis content to users, the site cannot charge more users to cover the loss. Instead, it’ll have
less money to produce the material itself which could result in inferior products.


How Google can emerge relatively unharmed
Google has never had to face the same level of challenge in its model of business or structure
as it is now. However, lawsuits, particularly big antitrust suits, can be lengthy to resolve and
there’s no way to know if they’ll be settled by the government. The DOJ’s case was filed in the
fall of 2020, but it isn’t likely to be tried until 2023’s fall. It could be a case that is pending without the DOJ’s antitrust chief, Jonathan Kanter because Kanter has represented a number of Google’s competitors in past and could be required to recuse himself from the case.

Are all the attorney generals of state and even the DOJ have a wrong impression of Google? Adam Kovacevich, who was Google’s US director of communications for public policy throughout the FTC investigation, believes that the Google lawsuits are not likely to have a greater chance of success than the FTC did in 2013 when it decided not to take on a case against Google in relation to preferencing its sites over the properties of rival special-purpose search firms like Yelp.

It is true that the FTC “acknowledged, frankly, the legal difficulties they would run into if they tried to make the case — which are still true today,” Kovacevich stated. For Kovacevich, the reality that certain members of Congress are now urging Congress to create new laws addressing specific issues shows that Google has not done anything that is in violation of current laws. The bipartisan antitrust legislation that was introduced in the summer of 2013 could provide an easier way to make changes but they’re unlikely to be as significant in influence on Google’s company strategy as the outcome of lawsuits would. Kovacevich isn’t in favor of these bills in any case. He’s the current director of the Chamber of Progress, a tech industry alliance that describes itself as “center-left” and is funded by tech companies, such as Google who will be adversely affected if the bills are passed (Kovacevich would not reveal the amount of the funding Google gives). The Chamber of Progress has been vocally opposing the bills since the time they were introduced in the hope that they would stop companies from providing certain services, or force them to bring security issues to their products.

However, Yen and Lowe, from Proton and Lowe and Lowe, both of Yelp believe that the bills will help in improving the level of play. equitable. “I don’t think I’ll ever see an opportunity again, in my career, to have a legislative response to Big Tech’s overreaching,” Lowe declared.

Google control the internet